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In Mature Company

In Mature Company takes dance and music into care homes across Leeds, to reduce social isolation for older adults living with dementia.

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About In Mature Company

Since April 2018, In Mature Company has worked with 12 care homes around Leeds using dance and music to reduce the loneliness and isolation of residents living with dementia.

The programme looks specifically at the impact of touch and uses Dementia Care Mapping as a research tool to better understand the impact of the sessions. The project delivers a range of creative sessions including one-to-one sessions for residents within their own rooms, small group sessions and larger group sessions. Sessions are delivered by a team of artists – 2 x dance artists & 1 musician per care home. Dance artists 2018-2020: Kirsty Arnold, Tora Hed, Ellen Turner and Rachel Clarke. Musicians: Will Fletcher and Ozzy Moysey. 

Everything changed with the COVID-19 pandemic– with care homes in crisis, residents at their most vulnerable and staff exhausted. 

The many challenges of the past year have made us look afresh at what we do and how we do it. We have had to reimagine how and what we could deliver and how best to support care homes, residents and staff. 

In Summer 2020, when restrictions eased, we delivered outdoor COVID-19 secure, socially distanced creative sessions, in the gardens/car parks of care homes. We were unsure of how to deliver sessions where no touch was involved but the artists excelled and used their creativity and inventiveness. 

Elaine, Leeds Care home commented: “Residents who would normally not engage or be involved were dancing away to the music and what we noticed was that the residents were interacting with each other too, which was very special and not a normal occurrence.”

Summer 2021 saw the In Mature Company project delivering outdoor sessions with 4 Leeds care homes and bringing the joy of dancing and moving to new communities. Dance artists: Kirsty Arnold, Tora Hed, Ellen Turner and Rachel Clarke. Musicians: Georgie Buchanan  and Will Fletcher.

In partnership with Leeds Care Delivery team we ran weekly Zoom sessions for 10 care homes/day centres. This allows staff and residents in different homes to connect and share in a joyful experience with each other.   

In Mature Company is also supported by our Dementia Care Mappers Lily Craig and Lauren Clarke. You can find out more about their work here. 

Find out more about the project in our podcast series Yorkshire Dance Presents: Dancing & Dementia which can be listened to (and downloaded) below and in our animated series, Dancing the Small Moments.

 

In Mature Company is a four-year project and part of the Time to Shine programme. Delivered by Leeds Older People’s Forum and funded through National Lottery Community Fund’s Ageing Better, Time to Shine takes a city-wide approach to addressing the social isolation of older people living in Leeds.

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