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Dementia Care Mapping™

Wed 31 January 2018
Part of: We Danced: Dance in Care Homes | 2016-2018
Simon Marks Care Home © Yorkshire Dance

We Danced celebrates the end of its second year and begins to evidence its impact

We Danced in Parson Cross, Sheffield is celebrating the end of its second year. The project, which began in January 2016, has been uniting care home residents and primary school children in celebratory moments through dance.

A team of 5 dance artists have been delivering We Danced and the team will expand in 2018 to include 3 live-musicians and a team of shadowing artists. To date, the project has worked with 3 residential care homes and 3 primary schools, creating opportunities for over 250 residents and children to dance together.

It was such a lovely opportunity for the children to make others feel valued. We are really promoting the value of ‘being interested to be interesting’ in my class at the moment and today gave the children a focused way to express that.David Tompkinson, Watercliffe Meadows Primary School.

Working with the community has a huge impact within the home. Residents expressed during We Danced how much they enjoy the children performing and how wonderful the dance teachers are. We’re so grateful to be given this opportunity. It enhances our residents’ lives and we can see the impact creativity has on our residents. It’s lovely to hear the residents talking about the dancers and children after they have left and reminiscing about their dancing days.” Tammy McNally, Deputy Manager, Herries Lodge.

In the autumn of 2017, Yorkshire Dance began to explore ways to document the impact of the project, particularly on those living with dementia. Through a partnership with experienced Dementia Care Mapper*, Lisa Heller, we began to explore the positive impact the project was having on well-being within the care home.

Lisa mapped the experiences of 8 residents on three occasions that We Danced sessions took place and mapped a further 4 residents on a day when sessions were not taking place in order to better understand the impact of the project.

Initial findings demonstrate that well-being significantly increases during the dance sessions with 71% of residents mapped demonstrating significant positive well-being scores in comparison to 13% when a session was not taking place.

The artistic team have been using the mapping reports to better understand how to improve their practice, gaining a greater insight into what works and how to embed this learning into their planning.

Following one of the sessions, one resident commented: “It’s always lovely. It’s good to get out of being locked up.”

This lady showed evident signs of well-being during the session.  Particularly noted was that her interaction with others increased significantly in frequency and in quality, leading to evidence of raised well-being which was sustained throughout the session.

“It has been a privilege to see the lovely work done by the workers from the We Danced Project and the effectiveness of the sessions in raising well-being and reducing the isolation of residents.” Lisa Heller, Dementia Care Mapper.

*Dementia Care Mapping™ is an established approach to achieving and embedding person-centred care for people with dementia, recognised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

For over 20 years it has been used by care practitioners to improve quality of life for people living with dementia in a range of care settings, including care homes and hospitals.

Dementia Care Mapping™ prepares staff to take the perspective of the person with dementia in assessing the quality of the care they provide. It empowers staff teams to engage in evidence-based critical reflection in order to improve the quality of care for people living with dementia.


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