Experiences of being: the benefit of drama, music and dancing in improving the wellbeing of older people in care homes
This report highlights the benefits of using drama and creative techniques with older people, in particular those with dementia. It outlines the results of an initiative which ran drama workshops in 17 Anchor care homes, with the intention that they could become a sustainable part of the activities led by the care home staff to improve the lives of residents, both physically and mentally. A professional drama teacher worked collaboratively with the staff at each care home, and provided opportunities for staff to suggest modifications to the workshops. The results highlight the mental and physical health benefits of the creative activities for care home residents and the sustainability of the methods provided by the trainer at the various care homes. The report concludes that the workshops provide a simple and effective way of improving the experience of care home residents and can easily become part of the selection of regular activities available at care homes. They are inexpensive and scalable and, led to an improvement in residents' levels of self-esteem and self-worth. Care staff also found that the sessions enhanced communication, giving residents the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience and talk about their lives, homes and communities.