Group-Based Participatory Arts Interventions Validate Personhood for those Living with Dementia

Daniel B. Kaplan, Gary Glazner, Charles Drake


Participatory arts-based interventions for people living with dementia involve the collaborative creation and performance of poetry, story, song, dance, and visual arts. These programs are designed to support self-expression and productive collaboration among people living with dementia while stimulating positive social interactions and feelings of empowerment and validation. In this commentary, we explore the use and potential benefits of validation in the implementation of person-centered participatory arts interventions in the context of dementia care. We offer a novel framework for understanding validation as a common intervention method during these activities, organized into five themes: collaboration, connection, communication, creation, and confirmation. These validation opportunities are suggested to offer direct benefits for participants as well as indirect benefits when modeled in the presence of formal care providers and family members. Clinicians and other transdisciplinary care providers are encouraged to understand, use, and teach these and other validation-focused arts interventions with persons living with dementia.

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