As a model museum with cultural accessibility programs, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts has been steadily promoting senior citizen-friendly services and related art programs over the past years. As Taiwan is becoming an aged society with its elderly dementia population rising year by year, the museum is now cooperating with local medical circles to promote the concept and implementation of dementia-friendly museums.
On Nov. 27, the museum joined forces with the Taichung Hospital under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taichung Dementia Care Center, and the Dementia Care Center of the Taipei City Hospital to hold the "Dementia-Friendly Museum: Action and Development" forum. Experts from home and abroad were invited to give speeches and share experiences.
Lorena Bradford, manager of accessible programs at the National Gallery of Arts, in Washington, D.C., and Bairbre-Ann Harkin, art and ageing fellow at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, were invited to give keynote speeches and share their experiences. Forum attendants enthusiastically exchanged views on similarities and differences of accessibility programs of museums at home and abroad.
An occasion to promote the concept and implementation of dementia-friendly museums and an opportunity to deepen cooperation between museums and other professional fields, the forum was held as part of the "Full Accessibility Friendly Museum Program" to promote public awareness of dementia.
Other ongoing activities include staff trainings, lectures, and workshops sponsored by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts while it works on its "Guidelines for Dementia-Friendly Services" and "Standard Operating Procedure for Challenging Situations." It is hoped that these activities will inspire more cultural venues in this country to join the line of dementia-friendly museums.