The beauty of art as a tool to preserve the mind and accompany geriatric patients with forms of dementia on a path of memory recovery. This is the essence of the “Beauty that belongs to us” project, aimed at patients suffering from dementia and their families, which is the result of an agreement signed between the “Paolo Giaccone” Polyclinic of Palermo and the Regional Department of Heritage cultural and Sicilian identity through the Regional Gallery of Sicily of Palazzo Abatellis, directed by Evelina De Castro.
Starting from September 20, in fact, every two weeks a group of sixteen patients (with their caregiver) under treatment at the Clinical Psychology clinic will carry out guided art therapy visits inside the museum of Palazzo Abatellis. It is a non-pharmacological therapy for geriatric patients with overt memory and mood disorders, to be carried out through “museum beauty courses for the recovery of the autobiographical memory of patients with dementia”.
The initiative is aimed at two different types of patients selected by the center: those with medium / severe overt dementia and those experiencing an early stage decline. The project includes a total of six guided tours: interior landscape, family portraits, self-portraits, the body, everyday life: objects and images, urban space. It is a path that aims to activate the recovery of autobiographical memory passages trying to affect the emotional centers of the brain.
The expected objectives are different: in the meantime, the possibility of re-orienting the patient through stresses related to time and space, stimulating the memory to retrace personal history or significant events in one’s life. The experience, of course, is also an opportunity to encourage participation, stimulate conversation and facilitate discussion.
“Visual communication is a form of universal human expression. It is with this awareness – says the director of the Museum, Evelina De Castro – that Palazzo Abatellis adheres to the project by making available its collections and its historical-artistic and technical skills” .CopyAMP code.
The project is coordinated by Flora Inzerillo, psychologist and psychotherapist, who explains: “In the course of our clinical experience we have been able to ascertain that the subjects retain their own personal identity, with moments of self-awareness. On the basis of this residual personal identity it is possible to activate expressive therapeutic paths aimed at holding back the degenerative process as much as possible “.