B Sharp Arts Engagement® is a life enrichment and research program for people with dementia and their care partners who wish to attend the Fort Collins Symphony and participate in evidence-based research examining the sense of connection, mood, and cognition related to experiencing the symphony. We are beginning our 7th season in 2022. More details to come.
B Sharp Arts Engagement® was launched in 2015 and provided 30 people with dementia and their primary care partner the opportunity to attend five Fort Collins Symphony Masterworks concerts during the 2015-16 season. The study explored a number of factors, including the impact of the music on the cognitive ability of participants with dementia, the social connections between the care partner and person with dementia, and the degree to which study participants feel supported by the community. The program was interrupted by Covid-19 in 2020 and we are resuming it again in 2021.
Attending dementia friendly community events has helped care partners feel connected to their loved one, other care partners, and enjoy a night out.
A healthy community is an inclusive community. Northern Colorado is committed to learning how to engage and create meaningful interactions for those living with dementia. This means reaching out to people with dementia and their care partners to encourage them to take part in community events — to consciously include rather than just passively accept.
The B Sharp Arts Engagement® program is an example of a community effort that required collaboration, communication, and a commitment to creating a dementia-friendly community.
We did a lot of hand holding and smiling during and after the performance. We made eye contact throughout the entire performance and it was like soul traveling.
It’s something special, something to look forward to. The community awareness was also a big thing I think that the program did. I think it made us feel like people noticed and cared about us.
I think we (caregivers) help each other be stronger. Other people sympathize, but nobody really understands until you get with other people that are living it. We have the bond of having a loved one with this horrible disease.