People with dementia and cognitive impairment are enabled to access to the arts and heritage at all stages of the dementia well pathway.

Arts and creative therapies and maintaining a connection to these, be it things you have always enjoyed and engaged with and/or the offer of new engagement and alternatives are embedded in conversations with you, as part of person centred care planning.
For extra information, evidence and best practice please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Regional offerings

Dementia Wellbeing Plan for Greater Manchester; Dementia United

The Greater Manchester dementia wellbeing plan promotes personalised planning conversations with people living with dementia and carers about their needs and wants. The plan ensures an improved standard of care planning for people living with dementia and also facilitates sharing across the system. It will be available as a standardised plan which can be accessed and shared digitally between practitioners; as well as being available from the website for people affected by dementia to be using when having person centred care plan reviews

String of Hearts

String of Hearts is a community arts organisation which connects older adults through music-making, to reduce isolation and improve wellbeing. Their activities include group music sessions, music phone calls, recordings and showcase events, shining a light on the creativity of people in our community. Activities take place in community venues and healthcare settings, with referrals through social prescribing.


National offerings

Arts 4 Dementia

Art 4 Dementia is a charity with a website has resources, training, art programmes that are dementia friendly and much more. Their aim is to help preserve a fulfilling active life for longer for the person living with dementia.

Music for Dementia

Music for Dementia is a national campaign to make music an integral part of dementia care in the UK. They work with more than 200 charities and organisations. The website has resources, links, guidance for health and care staff. They have advice and guidance for people living with dementia in all settings e.g. at home, in a care home.

Living with Dementia Toolkit - downloadable guide

Not everyone has access to the internet so we have produced a Guide to the Living with Dementia Toolkit that can be downloaded and printed off. We encourage peers, family members, and health and social care professionals to make use of this.

The Guide is available in English and in Welsh. It introduces the toolkit and the resources available. For the full experience of the toolkit, you need to look at the website. QR codes link you back to the website at various points. There is a 'How to use QR codes' video lower down the page.

This can be downloaded here:

Intergenerational Music Making (IMM)

IMM (Intergenerational Music Making) is a national not-for-profit organisation which delivers programmes, training, and campaigning & research to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the old and the young in communities across the UK, through the power of music.

We work closely with care homes, schools, hospitals, and musicians and creatives, sharing our expertise to deliver and embed a culture of intergenerational practice.

Intergenerational music is all encompassing working with individuals and groups across our communities focussing on bridging the gaps between generations, supporting those living with dementia and their carers. Our work aims to tackle health inequalities and create new spaces where voices can be heard. acknowledged and celebrated. Through music making, song writing, choral singing, art, movement and so much more, we work to provide spaces for people to share their stories, make new connections and adopt creative, accessible ways to support health and wellbeing.


Email: or

Shared Harmonies

Shared Harmonies is passionate about sharing the impact of singing with others:

Shared Harmonies/So many Beauties spoke to 23 different organisations and individuals about the barriers and enablers for people to access culturally appropriate dementia support. They recruited 2 trainees offering them a paid learning experience and helping us to diversify our team in the process. They worked in collaboration with SoundUp Arts, Age UK Salford, Dementia Forward and Touchstone BME Dementia Service Leeds. They delivered 30 singing for wellbeing sessions attended by 123 older people living with dementia, Parkinson’s and respiratory conditions

Formulations in dementia care:


The WHO Health Evidence Synthesis Report on the role of arts (2019): explains A.R.T.S. as multimodal interventions combining multiple health-promoting components, involving aesthetic engagement, the imagination, stimulating experiences, sensory activation, evocation of emotion, learning and cognitive stimulation, as well as social support and interaction and physical activity. These trigger psychological, physiological, social and behavioural responses that address the complex challenges associated with cognitive decline and help build cognitive reserve. A.R.T.S for brain health - social prescribing for dementia report

There is some evidence that keeping our brains active throughout life, and increasing what is known as our cognitive reserve could help to delay the onset of dementia or help people living with dementia to remain independent for longer. "The aim is to delay the onset of dementia, increasing the amount of time that people can be independent, healthy and active in later life (successful ageing) by increasing people's resilience, for example by improving their social and emotional wellbeing. " NICE NG16 2015

Best Practice Resources

A.R.T.S. for brain health: social prescribing as diagnostic practice for dementia: The role of the arts in combating loneliness and cognitive decline is now widely recognised as providing vital benefit to patients. GPs are also recognising that engagement by their patients with the arts eases the pressure on them. Working with social prescribing link workers, GPs can look to cultural and creative organisations to empower their patients at the onset of dementia – earlier than ever before. The arts help patients to preserve their brain health, and keep active, connected and inspired in community life for years longer.
  • Arts 4 Dementia: Events. To access resource click here
  • Arts 4 Dementia: Resources. To access resource click here
  • My house of memories app: allows you to explore objects from the past and share memories together. It can be used by anyone, but has been designed for, and with, people living with dementia and their carers. More information on the website here

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