Opening Minds Through Art

a senior smiling and holding a painter next to a smiling care partner

Creative expression through art benefits the physical and psychological well-being of people with dementia.

Opening Minds through Art, or “OMA,” is a proven art program for people with dementia. It was initially developed at Scripps Gerontology Centre at Miami University and integrated into Club 36 in 2014.

Opening Minds through Art
Visit their Website

The person with dementia is at the centre of the OMA art process, intending to experience failure-free autonomy and choice. The OMA program partners Club 36 members with nursing students who receive OMA training and dementia care strategies from Alzheimer Calgary’s certified professionals.

“One of the most valuable learnings is that people with dementia may not remember who you are, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

- A University of Calgary Nursing Student.

They work in partnership over several sessions to bring the person’s creativity to the surface. The students work at a comfortable distance, learning when to provide support and when to step back. Club 36 members make their own decisions, an empowering and refreshing change from everyday life. Powerful and meaningful relationships happen as everyone learns together.

“I witness the progression of students and the mastery in choosing different strategies to help clients get through difficult instances. The ‘aha’ moments that students discuss are processes they will take into their nursing careers, developing awareness, sensitivity and compassion.”

-Christine Foran, University of Calgary Nursing Practice Instructor

Certify for OMA in Calgary

Do you work in Adult Day Programs or dementia care settings in Canada? We became the first OMA training centre in Canada in 2018. You can obtain certification from us here in Calgary rather than travelling outside the country.

MoMA Alzheimer's Project

The MoMA Alzheimer's Project was a program from 2007-2014 that trained art and health professionals on how to make art accessible to people with dementia using MoMA's teaching methods.

MoMA Alzheimer's Project
Visit their Website