Abstract illustrated colourful pattern

The communication needs of care home residents with dementia and hearing loss are often overlooked. The Centre for Dementia's ORCHARD study is launching a new art commission to illustrate its research findings.

Research shows that hearing aids can optimise communication for these residents, however individuals with dementia often don’t tolerate them, resulting in damage or loss. In addition, there is little dementia focused communication training provided for care staff, or hearing aid maintenance training.

To address hearing communication, the ORCHARD study developed a theory of how care homes could manage hearing communication better. An academic team from the Institute of Mental Health's Centre for Dementia worked alongside people living in care settings and those with lived experience throughout the project.

The study results will be used to inform guidelines and practical interventions in care homes to improve the impact hearing loss has on residents living with dementia, their carers and clinicians.

Five key messages from the study:

  1. Having positive regard and empathy for residents through a person centred approach.
  2. Staff training focused on hearing loss in dementia.
  3. Understanding individuals and their communication wants and needs.
  4. Regular monitoring of residents’ hearing, supported by appropriate person centred care planning.
  5. Managing noise in the care home setting 

Brief for artists

In partnership with City Arts (Nottingham), the ORCHARD study would like to commission a small scale creative project that reflects some of the ideas and findings from the ORCHARD research.

Budget available: £5,500

Proposals are to be submitted by Friday 7th December and should outline how the piece will reflect the study and its findings. Any small scale creative medium will be considered eg. music, poetry, painting, digital/app development, sculpture (must be portable).

Commissioned artist will have access to a care home setting and a panel with lived experience in order to bring additional insight to the commission.

For more information please visit www.artsjobs.org.uk