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female student with elderly woman and her family

Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an intergenerational art program for people with dementia. It is grounded in person-centered ethics and founded on the fact that people with dementia are capable of expressing themselves creatively. There is a growing body of empirical evidence that creative expression improves their physical and psychological well-being. The mission of OMA is to build bridges across age and cognitive barriers through art.

The program is implemented in group sessions: Up to 12 people with dementia with the assistance of 12 trained volunteers working on a one-to-one basis. The art-making sessions culminate in a gallery exhibition celebrating the artists’ accomplishments while educating the public about the creative capacities of people with dementia.

uptown Oxford
We seek to be engaged in our local community. One way we've done that is by partnering with sereval community organizations who are working to make the City of Oxford an even better place to age. Our students and staff helped the City of Oxford, Oxford Seniors, and the Oxford Village Group determine what city residents' preferences are related to housing for older adults. In designing and administering a survey to local residents, we hope the information gleaned will be helpful in making Oxford a great place for older adults to live.