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Creative Connections in Dementia Care: Engaging Activities to Enhance Communication

by Katie Norris and Jennifer Brush Health Professions Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 88 pages
AU$55.99 NZ$56.52
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Creativity is preserved in dementia long after other abilities are lost, so that making art provides rich opportunities for meaningful engagement for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care provides care partners with the knowledge and easy-to-follow steps they need to successfully implement art projects in a group or one-on-one setting—and no art experience is required!

Written for anyone who cares for a person with dementia—family members, friends, and professionals—this how-to manual is packed with guidance to help enhance communication, interactions, task breakdown, and problem-solving efforts while also encouraging the abilities of each participant.

People with dementia enjoy valuable benefits when they actively engage in a creative activity:
- stress is reduced
- memories can be accessed
- mood and self-esteem are elevated
- a sense of personal identity and achievement is experienced

To help create these opportunities, Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care provides 10 basic art project “recipes,” detailing supplies, instructions, and activity modifications, as well as colorful, step-by-step photographs that show how to demonstrate and lead the activity for the person with dementia. Each art activity is failure-free and does not require memory skills to complete.

Bring joy and a powerful sense of connection to the lives of people experiencing dementia with this one-of-a-kind guide!

About the Authors
A Message to Care Partners

Why Art?
What is Dementia?
What Can the Environment Do?
What is Communication?
Offering Choices
Tasks Breakdown
Unique to the Home Environment
Know the Person
Creative Connections Basics

Supply Storage
C.R.E.A.T.E. and P.R.E.S.E.N.T. Art
Artist Feedback Form
Guide Feedback Form
Gifts of Art
Additional Resources

1. Note Cards
2. Spackle
3. Watercolor Relief
4. Paper Mosaics
5. Title
6. Watercolor Doilies
7. Button Art
8. Stained Glass Circles
9. Cups
10. Paper Collage

Creative Forecasting Editors

Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care: Engaging Activities to Enhance Communication by Rev. Katie Norris and Jennifer Brush, MA, CCC-SLP, is a wonderful book that provides care partners with lots of information and easy-to-follow steps they need to successfully implement art projects in a small group setting or during one-to-one time. The first part of the book is a how-to manual that is an excellent introduction (or review for care partners with experience) about the benefits of art for people with cognitive impairment, what dementia is and the challenges and strengths people with this brain disorder may have, tips for preparing the environment (i.e., lighting, color, contrast), effective communication reminders, and information about the importance of offering choices, task breakdown, and knowing each person. Research shows that that art and imagination are some of the last skills to be affected by dementia, and Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care: Engaging Activities to Enhance Communication includes 10 basic art projects that stimulate the creativity and imagination of each artist. Also included is a supply list for each project and evaluation forms from artists’ and care partners’ perspectives. The 10 full-color “art recipes” have step-by-step photographs that demonstrate how to do them. This is an excellent book that has allows individuals with dementia to be engaged, creative, and successful.

Creative Connections™ in Dementia Care: Engaging Activities to Enhance Communication is published by Health Professions Press. The cost is $29.99 in U.S. funds plus shipping and handling. Visit for more information.
Rev. Katie Norris is co-founder of the Carolyn L. Farrell Foundation for Brain Health. Her community ministry is devoted to helping people with mental illness and dementia live lives of meaning and purpose. She is a Unitarian Universalist minister with a specialty in pastoral care and communication for people with brain health illness and their families. She works to raise awareness and end stigma of these illnesses through community outreach and public speaking. Learn more at

Jennifer Brush MA, CCC/SLP understands the particular needs of healthcare organizations and families engaged in dementia care and brings more than 20 years of experience as both a leading researcher and direct-care coach in this complex field. She is a nationally recognized speech-language pathologist known for her work in the areas of memory and environmental interventions for people with dementia. She has served as the principal investigator on applied research grants that examined issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS dementia, hearing impairment, dining, swallowing disorders, and the long-term care environment. Jennifer is the co-author of three other books: I Care; Environment and Communication Assessment Toolkit for Dementia Care; and A Therapy Technique for Improving Memory: Space Retrieval. Learn more at