Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Fine Arts

Department/School/Program

Art

First Advisor

Dr. Allan G. Richards

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of a combination of seven different visual art activities, hat decoration, collage, embossing, painting, ceramics, photography, and printmaking, on quality of life for eight veterans with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The eight veterans were selected from the population of residents at the Thomson‐ Hood Veterans facility in Wilmore, Kentucky. These veterans were administered the seven art activities mentioned above, which ranged from less difficult to increasing difficulty. Three standard self‐reporting instruments, the Quality of Life‐AD, the Rosenberg Self‐Esteem Scale, and the Smiley‐Face Mood Assessment, as well as systematic observation and surveys were used to explore the effectiveness of the activities in improving quality of life and to identify other relevant domains. The results suggest that the combination of art activities improved the quality of life of the participants, including observed domains of focus and concentration, problem‐solving skills, memory, imagination, motor skills, self‐esteem, mood, and social interaction. The educational approach used simple to more complex problem‐solving skills and seemed to enhance cognitive performance and contribute to improved quality of life.

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