Certified Dementia Communication's Specialist and Facilitator on Staff
Dementia Communication's Improv Program
Performing Arts and Senior Programs
Our programs are held throughout the community at various Assisted Living, Nursing Homes and Senior Communities.
Music - All our classes include wonderful music from the past, song, engagement and laughter. Every program begins with light stretching and warmups followed by a few vocal warmups. Musical instruments are used as well in some of our classes throughout the session.
Dance - there is an African Proverb that goes like this: "If you can walk you can dance", we like to take it a step further, "If your heart is still beating you can Dance". Whether you are mobile or not there is always a way to dance. You may do your dance in a chair or wheelchair by moving your feet, hands or both. If you are in a bed perhaps you can move your hand, wiggle your toes, nod your head or both. For those unable to move on their own, a caregiver may gently do it for them. Using a scarf and gently swaying it back and forth will give them the sense of movement ie: Scarf Dance.
The Arts and Seniors living with Dementia Alzheimers
Why Improv - Theater Games?
Improv is all about being in the moment, which for someone with memory loss is a very safe place.
There's no experience required, there's no script, there's no memorization of lines, the only thing needed is the willingness to engage, have fun and allow their creativity to flow.
There is no right or wrong answer in Theater, that is why Improv is so safe for those living with Memory Loss.
Participants contribute whatever they wish and as the Facilitator, Actor, Engager, Caregiver, Family member, Recreational Therapist, etc. it is up to us to continue with the dialogue that is in the moment.
"Yes and" allows for the participant to elaborate and take the story any way they wish while we are in agreement and encourage.
(Feeback from Sholom West after completing a 10 week grant funded program) Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and Legacy Funds.
I’m so sad that the program is ending! Our residents love it. There are times that us staff cannot reach them and you do! I have never seen our Russian residents light up the way they do with you in drama interaction. I think the Russian has been so needed and vital. I love having the props to interact with always being different and having just the right amount of time for the residents’ attention span. Sometimes the role playing has worked but I did see they needed coaching prompts to repeat. Miming and acting things out or listing was interesting too as I didn’t think residents could guess that well, so a pleasant surprise. Music is helpful that it is loud and upbeat songs. You all bring so much joy and energy to the residents and they have a blast in 30 minutes.
I hope you all well in the future. You will all be so missed!