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In Mature Company

In Mature Company takes dance and music into dementia care homes across Leeds, to improve physical activity levels and reduce loneliness

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About In Mature Company

In Mature Company works in partnership with care homes to deliver creative movement sessions for older adults. Following the huge success of its launch in 2018, the project will continue into its fourth year. We will be delivering weekly in-person and online group sessions in care homes across Leeds, bringing the joy of dancing and moving to new communities.

The programme is designed to improve the lives of care home residents who are frail and who may be living with dementia. This project aims to have a meaningful impact on participant’s overall wellbeing by building confidence and social connection through sustained engagement in a shared space. Dance artists and musicians facilitate creativity by delivering person-centred sessions that respond the resident‘s needs and interests. Our online Zoom sessions allows staff and residents in different homes to connect and share in a joyful experience with each other.

Yorkshire Dance have reflected on the project so far to think about how best to support care homes, residents and staff. The team are measuring the impact of the programme on improving strength and balance in participants to reduce their falls risk, number of hospitals admissions and the amount of time spent asleep during the day.

Care homes residents’ wellbeing has been drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Mature Company artists will support care home staff to develop skills and techniques that can help implement creativity within everyday care.

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.”

Our Lead Dance artists for 2023: Kirsty Arnold, Rachel Clarke, Tora Hed and Thom Mckeon

Musicians: Will Turner, Georgie Buchanan and Dave Mitchell

Lead Dance Artists will mentor new artists to build a specialism in working with people living with dementia. This will encourage more artists to deliver creative care home work and foster an increased interest in this area.

Assistant Dance artists: Thilde Andreasen, Alex Garland, Vanessa Grasse and Shauna McSwiney.

The team will continue to use Dementia Care Mapping as a research tool to better understand the impact of the sessions on mood and levels of engagement. From this information staff, dance artists and Yorkshire Dance can see what is working well and identify areas for development. The Mappers then work with the artists to develop an approach that delivers person-centred care. You can find out more about their work here.

Dementia Care Mapper: Jess Sache.

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.

Previously funded through Time to Shine, Yorkshire dance were able to secure further a 3 years of funding from the NHS. With this funding we hope to make a significant impact on the care sector as a whole. Dance interventions are evidenced as reducing distress amongst residents in care homes by bringing joy and meaning to people’s lives rather than clinically managing the consequences of profound boredom and loneliness.

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