Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is a program that aims to empower people with dementia through art-making.

OMA was developed by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon and is based on the principles of person-centered care regarding patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. OMA has been implemented in over 200 sites across the United States and has been found to be effective in improving the well-being of people with dementia. The OMA program is a structured, intergenerational art-making program that pairs people with dementia with trained volunteers who act as their creative partners. Each participant is given a set of materials and encouraged to create art using a variety of mediums, such as paint, markers, and pastels. The creative volunteer offers support and guidance, but does not direct the participant’s artwork.

The Academy Center of the Arts is the first organization in the greater Lynchburg community to provide this service to the area’s assisted living and memory care facilities.

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