Welcome to Module 2

Welcome to Artful Moments-Shared Learning Module 2: Understanding the Participant. Here we will learn about the people who participate in our programs.

The goal of this Module is for you to understand the impact of dementia on a person and how the changes in the brain that are caused by dementia can affect their participation in an Artful Moments-style program.

By the end of Module 2 you will be able to:

  • Describe some age-related changes that people may experience as they age
  • Describe five areas of ability that are affected by dementia and why these are important to understand
  • Describe some of the strengths that may remain for a person with dementia
  • Explain why it is important to focus on the person, not their diagnosis

After a diagnosis of dementia, and as a person experiences changes due to disease progression, it is important to recognize and acknowledge that the person, has been, and remains a valued, productive, contributing member of society, who maintains many relationships and roles including friend, loved one, colleague, caregiver, leader and creative person. Although the disease may cause many changes, it cannot erase the person’s accomplishments, experiences or their personhood. We must always remember that the person with dementia is a person first. We must not fall into the trap of only thinking of the person in terms of their disease or the changes they are experiencing now.

In this module, as we begin to describe dementia and the impact it has on the person, there is a risk of overshadowing the very awareness we are trying to assert. As a facilitator, my feeling has always been that knowing more means that I am better equipped to plan and adapt on the fly, and to respond effectively to each interaction that I have. This approach has served me well in my work, and so I share the same depth of knowledge that I was given with you.

As you move through this module, make sure you take the time to hear the voices and stories of our participants and community-members. Each person is so much more than their diagnosis, and you must always keep that at the forefront of your thoughts and at the heart of your program.