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We wanted to try an arts-based approach to PDSG to improve the experience and enable opportunities for people living with dementia to more fully engage.

We worked alongside a visual artist in four additional sessions of the PDSG group, using creative methods to enable members to share something of their themselves, shared and meaningful experiences as well as their experiences of living with dementia. Groups members created sketchbooks as a way to record their lives and elements of biographical information before sharing this with the group to collaboratively create a large collage, which expressed their joint journeys with dementia.

In contrast to the standard PDSG format, people with dementia strongly felt a part of the group and often led the conversations, valuing the opportunity to talk, share and get to know other members of the group.