Colour Connotations in Dementia


After researching into the creative theory of music therapy to stimulate the retrieval of memories in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, I wanted to explore further in the creative sphere as I feel that this, in combination with advances in science and technology, will be the key to unlocking a cure for these destructive diseases. This is how I came to focus on the importance of colour connotations and the idea of the kinds of colours we associate with specific memories. This aspect of memory is fascinating in the sense that for every person it’s different. Our mind associates a memory with a song or a colour or a location and that connection is so strong that it triggers us to remember – it’s incredible. For dementia patients, colour is so important. How we perceive colours is one thing, and is something that, again, varies person-to-person, and the connotations that colours hold is also subjective. However, there is a general guide for how we tend to view each colour. Using colour to improve the environment surrounding dementia patients is not the only use of colour. Colour is also said to enhance the person’s likeliness to evoke a strong emotion and has an impact on their mood. Red and yellow are colours of stimulation and are “used in activity areas to stimulate brain wave activity”, whereas blue and green “reduce activity in the central nervous system”, thus making people feel calmer. Orange, share similar connotations with that of red and yellow but is ultimately viewed as an “earthy colour so is often used in natural environments”. The fact that colour is such a predominant element, not only in the surroundings of dementia sufferers but they also hold such power in terms of emotional connections, making them essential to stimulation of memory.


Natasha Perkin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *