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In Mature Company announcement and Dementia Friends training

Thu 27 July 2023
Part of: In Mature Company | Dance & Dementia Podcast | Dancing the Small Moments: Animations Series | 2020
IMC new care homes

In Mature Company, led by Yorkshire Dance, works in partnership with care homes to deliver creative movement sessions for older adults living with dementia. Following the huge success of its launch in 2018, the project will continue into its fifth year. From August 2023, we will deliver 20 x weeks of creative sessions in four care homes across Leeds: Harewood Court (Chapeltown), Harrogate Lodge (Chapel Allerton), Oak Tree Lodge (Gipton) and Carr Croft (Meanwood) engaging with over 80 people living with dementia on a weekly basis.

Jo Bailey, the Wellness Coordinator from Oak Tree Lodge shared this comment:

“All the staff and residents at Oak Tree Lodge are very excited to be part of the In Mature Company’s programme. The residents love listening to music, trying out new things and being creative. We’re looking forward to welcoming the team for the next 20 weeks!”

This work is designed to improve the lives of care home residents who may be frail and more at risk of social isolation. Sessions build connections between residents, artists and care staff – explored through dance and touch. Each home will host dance and music sessions led by experienced dance artists and a live musician, who will respond to residents’ mood and requests. Artists will get to know participants, their lives, stories, interests and memories.

In Mature Company is funded by NHS England. Over the project’s duration we hope to evidence the impact of these sessions on reducing distress, falls risks and hospital admissions amongst care home residents. We hope to improve physical activity levels whilst reducing boredom and loneliness. If you have any questions about In Mature Company, your main contact at Yorkshire Dance is Project Manager Adie Nivison: Adienivison@yorkshiredance.com.

Also, several members of the Yorkshire Dance team took part in Dementia Friends training. Led by Sarah Prescott (Friendly Communities Officer, Leeds Older Peoples Forum) this in-person training helps us to learn more about what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. 

This information session was incredibly helpful in breaking down the assumptions around the condition and giving practical advice about how to make the world more accessible for people living with dementia. Staff members commented that:

“It helped emphasise that each lived experience is different. Dementia is an umbrella term for a disease that effects people in myriad ways.

“It helped me conceive of dementia in a less scary/depressing light, discussing how even with the impact of the symptoms, people with dementia can live full lives.”

“I will definitely adjust my language surrounding the topic. I also feel more empowered to help those living with Dementia.”

We look forward to implementing this training into our working practices and in our personal lives.

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