An exciting partnership between Hearts & Minds, Designed by Society, Wee Culture and Edel Roddy launched a new website with valuable resources for unpaid and professional carers of people with dementia and anyone who has an interest in care for people in the later stages of dementia. All of the partners have direct experience of working in the area of later stage dementia and developing resources. The project was funded by Dementia Series Development Trust The Treasure We Seek Project is based on the principles of the work of Hearts & Minds Elderflowers who use the art of therapeutic clowning to encourage moments of engagement, communication and movement with ladies and gents with dementia.
The Elderflower approach has been developed over years, with professional art practitioners that specialise in working with people with dementia.
The Elderflowers improvise, sing, play and tailor each interaction to the individual. They present themselves as an extended family, they wear clothes that hark back to previous generation and carry props such as ukuleles, hats, maps and photographs to encourage discussion and interaction.
The project took the fundamental principles of the Elderflowers and developed two sets of resources ‘Valuables’ and ‘Treasure Hunt’.
Edel Roddy, Project Lead explains further: “The Treasure We Seek website offers two free resources for people to feel connected to people living with later stage dementia. The resources have been developed with the hope they will be useful across a range of settings including schools, community groups, carers organisations and care settings, and we were thrilled with people’s responses.
Initial feedback highlighted that people have started to develop ideas about how they will try out the resources, and potentially make them their own, with friends, family and in work settings. Attendees at the launch even helped us think about other contexts in which these resources could be used, the possibilities of which feel exciting.
You can find the resources on – www.thetreasureweseek.net – and we’d like to hear from anybody who tests them out or has thoughts or ideas about this work they’d like to share.”
These resources will help relatives and professionals to cope and care and also to evaluate how they feel and take notice of their own wellbeing so they don’t feel stressed or isolated. The resources are available to download on the Treasure We Seek website.
Designed by Society Dr Gayle Rice is an experience researcher and designer for Designed by Society. Her research background is qualitative and creative and focuses on people’s current and desired experiences. Her design practice involves designing to enable improvements in people’s experiences of social interactions.
Wee Culture Belinda Dewar is a registered nurse, researcher, educator and practice developer with a career spanning over 30 years. She is currently Director of Wee Culture which aims to support people to explore and enhance culture. She previously held the position of Professor of Practice Improvement at the University of the West of Scotland and the Lead for My Home Life Scotland. The Dementia Series Development Trust is a charity with a vision to improve the lives of those living with dementia through the funding of activities which support this aim.
Hearts and Minds
Hearts and Minds is an arts and health charity that supports people to build resilience, increase empowerment and reduce feelings of isolation through the art of therapeutic clowning. We work in collaboration with paediatric healthcare units, respite centres, schools for learners with complex additional support needs and Dementia Units.
Rebecca Simpson is CEO, Hearts and Minds