Intellectual Output one: Creative arts and storytelling use for people with dementia and their care partners in UK, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Ireland
Project title: Using drama and storytelling in dementia care
KA2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practice
KA204: Strategic partnership for Adult Education
Agreement number: 2018-1-RO-01-KA204-049556
The booklet was prepared by Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC)
at Bournemouth University, UK
in coordination with the ERASMUS+partners:
We are very excited to share with you the first output of the project, our booklet “Creative Drama and Storytelling in Dementia Care: Information for Practitioners”
The booklet provides an overview of how creative drama and storytelling are being used within the dementia care field and the benefits they may have for the well-being of people living with dementia and their care partners.
It draws on theoretical understandings of ‘social inclusion’ to illustrate how researchers and practitioners across the globe, including within the ERASMUS partner countries, are using these creative initiatives to promote this important facet for people affected by dementia.
The booklet is aimed at: dementia practitioners who are currently using drama and storytelling within their practice or have an interest in doing so in the future.
The booklet is divided into four chapters.
The first provides an overview of dementia and the current global political focus on supporting people to live well with the condition; paying particular attention to the social inclusion agenda and developing dementia-friendly communities.
The second chapter discusses the use of creative drama and storytelling within the dementia care field focusing on where these initiatives are currently being employed, how they are being used, as well as the benefits for people with dementia and the wider social inclusion agenda.
The third chapter provides an overview, and examples of creative drama and storytelling initiatives within each of the partner countries.
The final chapter draws comparisons across the ERASMUS partner countries and summarises the information contained throughout the booklet. Based on these conclusions, it then outlines recommendations for policy and practice within this field.
The findings from this report highlight the importance of creative drama and storytelling initiatives for the wider social inclusion of people with dementia and their care partners.
The booklet has been created as part of a wider project, funded by ERASMUS+2018 (Agreement number 2018-1-RO01-KA204-049556), that aims to develop and evaluate a training program and toolkit to support the use of creative drama and storytelling amongst dementia practitioners and informal care partners such as family members. The project began in October 2018 and will conclude in September 2020.
Throughout the two years the research will address four main objectives:
- Improving health and social care professionals’ competence when working with people with dementia through the development of an educational program that uses creative drama and storytelling
- Enhancing the communication skills of family care partners of people with dementia through the use of creative drama, role-play and storytelling
- Enriching people with dementia’s well-being through the upskilling of health and social care professionals and informal care partners
- Raising public awareness of dementia and highlighting the benefits of creative initiatives for supporting the global policy agenda of building dementia-friendly communities.
“We hope that the project will be successful; it is likely to believe that by providing opportunities for people with dementia to tell their stories or to discuss about imagined scenarios and to be listened to, the care partners could offer them an opportunity to make sense of the world which they live and the challenges that they may have encountered.
The key message is thus to try to listen to the underlying meaning of stories and to reflect back to the person with dementia the nature of their feelings in a form that the person can make sense of; and then, to listen to the emotional meaning of the stories that are told. It is also necessary to listen to the poetical and metaphorical aspects of the stories that people with dementia tell. The focus of care must be on the needs of the whole person and the family, as perceived by the individual, at that point of time in their lives. Instead of expecting the person with dementia to “function” in our world, through these therapies we will validate their experience of the world.”
(Cătălina Tudose, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, President of Romanian Alzheimer Society)
Disclaimer: “The content of the present material reflects the views only of the authors, and the National Agency of the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”