Sandra McGatha: NASW-Missouri

In the Public Eye

Sandra McGatha

Visual art, or art that can be seen, especially on walls to add color and design to a space, can be important for individuals who have dementia, says Sandra McGatha, LCSW, a member of NASW-Missouri. Individuals with dementia may not be able to verbally express feelings about their dementia, but emotionally they may retain the ability to share their inner world through their art, she states in a guest column she wrote, posted on “In addition to the type of art activity, the color palette can make a difference, too,” McGatha writes. “Research increasingly shows that color, whether in art for viewing or art created by individuals with dementia, can assist in changing moods, evoking memories and even increasing appetite.”

Drawing or painting, along with the textures and colors of the chosen medium, engages visual and tactile senses in the exercise of creation, she notes in the column. Creating art prompts visual stimulation, problem-solving, spatial awareness and design that can be beneficial to individuals with dementia.

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