A Creative Outlet for Dementia Patients

Art can be a powerful tool that can stimulate healing.

Crissie Leng with patient's artwork

Crissie Leng

The Creative Expressions program at St. Peter’s Hospital provides a unique opportunity for patients with middle-to-late stage dementia to create and experience art. Group sessions are held once a week and are led by therapeutic recreationists from the Behavioural Health Program, with support from dedicated volunteers who engage one-on-one with patients.

“Art helps to enhance our patients’ social skills, reduce patients’ responsive behaviours and provide meaningful moments of engagement,” explains Therapeutic Recreationist Crissie Leng. “We encourage creativity and we connect with patients by focusing on their strengths and abilities.”

Assessing patients through art

Patients with dementia are admitted to the Behavioural Health Program for interdisciplinary assessment and treatment, with the goal of returning to the community. Participating in Creative Expressions also allows for the assessment of patients in a group setting and can provide valuable information for discharge planning.

“Volunteers and donations are essential for us.”

“The Creative Expressions program provides our patients with a sense of purpose and fulfillment,” says Crissie. “I love bringing joy to our patients. It is wonderful to see them be successful at a meaningful activity.”

Impactful donations

Donations are important as they help purchase the art supplies needed to run the program.

“Volunteers and donations are essential for us,” says Crissie. “We are thankful for the incredible donations recently contributed through Home Instead Senior Care Foundation’s GIVE65 initiative and are excited about the new art opportunities we can pursue with the funding. Supporting Creative Expressions gives our patients a creative outlet for self-expression and truly enhances their quality of life.”