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Olley’s Home Studio Ignites Memories for Dementia Awareness Month

Image: Some of the many talking points that encourage conversation during a tour of the Margaret Olley Art Centre.
A free dementia awareness program using art and music to stimulate memories and conversation is being launched at Tweed Regional Gallery today, to coincide with Dementia Awareness Month.
The MemoryScape program encourages people living with dementia and their care partners to connect through a shared activity at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.
The Gallery’s Education and Audience Development Officer, Jodi Ferrari, has developed a self-guided tour sheet that leads visitors to particular items in Margaret Olley Art Centre (MOAC) collection.
“As people walk around MOAC, the tour sheet provides suggested questions to ignite conversation and memories. Visitors can also experiment with the easy application for digital drawing and painting in the iPad activity area,” Mrs Ferrari said.
“The re-creation of Margaret Olley’s home studio is filled with objects and ornaments from her travels, as well as incredible floral arrangements, books and quirky collectibles that hold incredible potential to engage, stimulate and ignite memories and spark meaningful conversations.
“MemoryScape also promotes the link between memory and music, so visitors are encourage to pop on the headphones in the Margaret Olley Art Centre to enjoy classical music by the Australian Chamber Orchestra,” she said.
“It has been proven that music can help people living with dementia to recall memories and emotions. One of music’s many benefits includes boosting brain activity.”
The Gallery launches a new MemoryScape program each year and works with Alzheimer’s Australia and other community organisations that provide support programs including aged, dementia and disability services.
To help launch this year’s program, a representative from Alzheimer’s Australia NSW will be at the Gallery today from 9.30am to noon to provide information about dementia, risk reduction and support services available in the area.
Dementia Awareness Month is held each September to increase community awareness of dementia. Further information is available by contacting the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500