Creative art sessions ease dementia’s grip on elderly

Sharon Marsden of Verd de Gris engages residents at a creative art session
Sharon Marsden of Verd de Gris engages residents at a creative art session

Dementia and memory problems can leave older people and their carers in need of support and new ways to enrich their lives.

Creative art sessions have already helped improve the health and well-being of many people in the upper Calder Valley and across Calderdale.

Now the not-for-profit company that runs the sessions - Verd de Gris, based in Hebden Bridge - wants to spread the message that more older people are welcome to join the stimulating art, music, poetry and dance afternoons.

Weekly sessions are held on Tuesdays from 2.30pm to 4pm at Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Sharon Marsden, who runs Verd de Gris with her husband Jeff Turner, said: “Dementia closes some doors but if you can tap into something like music, dance, poetry or reminiscence, you can open these doors again.”

Sharon often uses a lyre which people can cradle and play, allowing them to express themselves through music.

The sessions have been developed in association with the Alzheimer’s Society and are partly funded by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Partners or carers are welcome to stay for the sessions or spend the afternoon elsewhere, Sharon said.

l As part of Dementia Awareness Week (May 19-25), people are invited to attend an awareness-raising event tomorrow in St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge (1.30pm).