Peterborough Entrepreneur's Unique Company Uses Art To Help Those With Dementia

Screen shot 2014-02-22 at 1.41.01 PM.png

Peterborough start-up company The Work of Art—last year’s winner of the Bears' Lair entrepreneurial contest in Peterborough—breathes new life into those living with Alzheimer disease and dementia.

Its creator, Janet Howse, an artist and Recreation Therapist specializing in art programming for dementia, believes art has the ability to improve the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer and dementia (there are currently almost 6 million people suffering from dementia in North America, and this number is expected to double by 2030). 

“In 2003 I took a job running art programs on the secure dementia unit in a Long Term Care facility," says Howse. "At the time, I knew little about dementia and had never worked with seniors. I was drawn to the job because of the art aspect but what I discovered was a deep love, passion and commitment to folks living with this debilitating disease.”

For the past 10 years, she has worked in recreation therapy running art studios, one-on-one sessions and professional training for people with dementia and their caregivers. She has seen first-hand what an incredible tool art is for people living with dementia, and believes it is a fantastic aid for caregivers who struggle to find a way to connect with those suffering.

Screen shot 2014-02-22 at 1.42.02 PM.png

As such, Howse developed all-inclusive painting kits that can be used by anyone but are specifically designed to help bypass the limitations experienced by someone with dementia. She has created an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds for the production of the first 1,000 demential-specific painting kits, which is her biggest hurdle right now (once the first run has been produced, costs will go down, and the business will be sustainable).

Learn more about her unique painting kits in this video below, and visit her website here.

Tip us at Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and Like us on Facebook.