Through the window: creativity as a tool for family members caring for a loved-one living with dementia

Morrison, Megan (2019) Through the window: creativity as a tool for family members caring for a loved-one living with dementia. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study provides first-hand arts-informed narratives from caregivers at locations in St. John's and rural Newfoundland. The narratives draw attention to the creativity involved in providing care to a family member with dementia by exploring the less visible aspects of the caregiving role and illustrate that caregivers attend to personhood through creativity. The objective of the research was to provide a deeper understanding of the caregiving role through exhibiting participants’ creative projects at a community venue. The study took place in St. John's, NL Canada between 2012 and 2014. Twelve family caregivers shared their caregiving story through an initial meeting, a creative project, and an art exhibit. The participants engaged with symbol, metaphor, imagery, and text to share their narratives using song-writing, singing, home renovation, photography, painting, poetry, short story, film, pencil-sketch, geo-caching, felted-wool, digital story, mixed media, and play-dough. The artifacts created by the participants helped the participants to articulate their caregiving roles and the often invisible work they do. This study found that caring for a family member who is living with dementia is essentially a creative solution-finding role. In looking at these family caregivers through a creative lens, one can see otherwise invisible aspects of their lives. This research contributes to how we understand the context of caring for a loved one with dementia.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 14266
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 215-230).
Keywords: arts-based research, arts-informed research, arts and health, dementia, care-giving, arts-informed exhibit, caregiver supports, person-centred care, creativity and care-giving, care-giving and the arts
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of > Community Health
Date: October 2019
Date Type: Submission
Medical Subject Heading: Dementia--therapy; Art Therapy--methods.

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