To begin this project, we conducted an online survey of museums, galleries and other cultural organizations across Canada. We asked about the presence of specialized programs in each organization, and about the comfort and knowledge or experience of staff to present these programs. For those already working with people living with dementia, we asked about successes and challenges, and for those who are not, we asked more about what was needed. In total we received 91 submissions, and collected some interesting data.
84% of respondents were from small or medium sized institutions with operating budgets of less than $1million. 51% of respondents were from museums and 23% from art galleries.
When asked about working with people living with dementia in general, 79% of respondents felt that there was an audience in their community who would benefit from this sort of program, though most have not been able to offer such programming, for a variety of reasons. 60% embrace the idea of offering programs for persons with dementia though 43% were uncertain how.
For organizations that have presented programs for persons with dementia in the past, 90% of respondents feel that they have been successful, though 25% feel there is room for improvement. Most do not have staff with expertise, and are not working with healthcare support. And over 40% wish they had more training.
For those organizations who have not offered programs for persons with dementia, the biggest barrier is training and access to knowledge of dementia and strategies for program design and delivery. Nearly half also cite a lack of capacity as a major concern. 11% felt that accessibility was a barrier. Despite the challenges, over 80% of respondents would like to pursue programs.
This tells us that there is a will and a need.
Artful Moments: Shared Learning is a resource of collected knowledge and experience based on our work. Our hope is that by sharing our work, we will inspire yours.
You may access the full report in the Materials tab at the top of this page.