Engaging people with dementia with online art conversations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Lara Wiseman, Adriane Boag, Stephen Isbel, Diane Gibson, Nathan M D'Cunha

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review


The National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) Art and Dementia program provides structured and facilitated sessions for people with dementia to view and discuss works of art. In August 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the Art and Dementia program to pivot from in-person arts-based discussion groups at the NGA to online delivery. The change required all facilitators, support workers, participants and their families, to rapidly adapt to an online delivery mode. The successful transition of the NGA’s Art and Dementia program to an online format demonstrated that with enthusiasm, the right equipment, technical and practical supports, it was a viable and engaging option for people with dementia to continue to learn new skills, engage socially, and participate in an intellectually stimulating activity. Participants continued to actively engage in the online program, with conversations covering a broad range of topics from artistic styles and techniques; to cultural, social, historical and geographic elements relevant to the works of art; and personal reflections about participants’ lived experiences and feelings. Occasional minor technical glitches were quickly rectified. While the COVID-19 restrictions are no longer in place, the NGA continues to offer monthly online sessions within its Art and Dementia program. Research is needed to compare the benefits of face-to-face with virtual sessions. However, there is significant potential to extend the program's reach and access to the NGA’s collection through online delivery to people with dementia in regional and remote areas where access to dementia support services is often limited.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2022
EventBritish Society of Gerontology 51st Annual Conference: Better Futures for Older People - Towards Resilient and Inclusive Communities’ - Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jul 20228 Jul 2022


ConferenceBritish Society of Gerontology 51st Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Engaging people with dementia with online art conversations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this