Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Drama Therapy and Dementia

Hi anyone reading this. Drama Therapy was something I'd used a little – and enjoyed hugely but it wasn't until I had the chance last year to work with Bas that I saw the enormous potential it has in the care of those with dementia.
We worked with a group of elderly – and not so elderly -people with varying degrees of dementia and Alzheimers. When I first met them, some were completely withdrawn or very limited in their communication. It was truly wonderful to see them respond, gain in confidence and start taking a keen interest in what was going on. Those working with them were doing a great job. They really got involved and valued the positive changes. Participants started to remember the sessions and interact more. Aggression decreased considerably.
This all happened just as a report from the Minister of Health was published. This showed the
impact of an ageing population and increased rates of dementia were going to pose an enormous
challenge to the Health sector over the next years.
There is little detailed research in NZ on using Drama Therapy but some very useful information
from the USA on the positive impact on behaviour and the potential reduced need for drugs.
We'll keep you posted as we try to introduce these methods, find some funding for research and
training.
This is one problem we all face potentially as we live longer. I'd like to think there was some fun
ahead for me, whatever the state of my memory. How about you?

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