Dementia & Arts Practitioner, Kunle Adewale, visited our Longsight group to introduce members to Virtual Reality. Through wearing VR headsets, users are transported to a virtual reality. Each member chose a place in the world they wished to visit. The VR headsets enabled them to “travel” to that place where they were immersed with images, songs and dance, coming in front of their eyes and into their ears. Contrary to our concerns that our members might be disoriented by the experience, they all really enjoyed it!
Kunle uses the mix of art and technology to engage people living with dementia and change the narrative that their lives are over following their dementia diagnosis. He aims to provide a space for people with dementia to connect, collaborate and have the opportunity to be creative. He has been studying the benefits of therapeutic art for over a decade now.
Kunle has gone worldwide to administer his notion on how the power of art can have a positive impact on those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, from travelling in his home country of Nigeria to San Francisco in the United States. His devotion to helping those living with dementia engage in art stems from his stepmother’s stroke. Kunle’s stepmother was unable to recognise family members but recollected and connected with music.
Following his participation in a Wednesday afternoon session of the Longsight Friendship & Activity Group, Kunle highlighted how being a part of the Longsight group was an excellent experience for him. He liked to see how creative engagement is being enabled by TDS, and the wide range of options provided for the members to explore was great.