WHAT IS OMA?
Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an award-winning, evidence-based, intergenerational art-making program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of neurocognitive disorders. Its failure-free program provides opportunities for creative self-expression and social engagement for people with dementia. OMA also provides volunteers with opportunities to improve their attitudes toward aging through the weekly interaction with OMA program participants.
OMA was founded by Dr. Elizabeth “Like” Lokon in 2007 and is grounded in person-centered care principles. It is headquartered at Scripps Gerontology Center, an Ohio Center of Excellence at Miami University. People with dementia (artists) are paired with volunteers (students, families, caregivers) who are trained to rely on imagination instead of memory and focus on remaining strengths instead of lost skills. OMA enables people with dementia to assume new roles as artists and teachers and leave a legacy of beautiful artwork. OMA has been widely replicated.