Creativity

A creative workshop in New Adelphi

From the great works of literature to the interactions we have in our everyday lives, creativity is a fundamental part of human nature. Using the theme of creativity, we explore how people with dementia use language to communicate and navigate their lives and how creative pursuits can help improve the overall quality of life for people with dementia.

Creativity is an underpinning strength of the Dementia Institute team. Examples of our work in this area are often featured in our monthly Salford Institute Dementia (SIDs) café. Examples of recent initiatives are the Music for Hospitals performances, Hallé interactive sessions and poet John Killick’s innovative reading group designed for maximum engagement of those living with dementia. This follows a well-established programme of activities featuring the creative arts. 

Creativity features in our research as well as our community engagement. For example, dementia associates have attended a dance workshop in Nottingham as part of a network grant funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) that Innes is a member of. One of our dementia research students (Campbell, funded by the AHRC) is exploring creative writing for people with dementia. With Talbot’s ongoing work on clowning and dementia (British Academy funded) a fun exemplar of the power of alternative mediums of communication for people with dementia. An example of heritage settings providing access to people with dementia using the senses has been evaluated by Innes, Scholar and Sharma, funded by Historic Royal Palaces.

This theme is led by Dr Jack Wilson.

Dementia Hub Music Cafe
Music for Hospitals event at the Dementia Hub, June 2018.

Projects

From Mediated Clowning to Telematics Entertainment for Dementia Care: Investigation by Practice as Research

Project title

Modelling Interactive Clown Practices for Virtual Game Design applications in Dementia Care

Theme

Creativity and UIaSI

Digital Media, Health and Wellbeing

Public engagement through Clowning and Popular Performance Practice

Funder and amount

  • British Academy/Leverhulme Trust: Modelling Interactive Clown Practices for Virtual Game Design applications in Dementia care. (£ 9,600)
  • School of Arts & Media Impact Fund (£620)

Start and end dates

  • Start date: June 2016
  • End date: March 2018

Project lead name and email contact

Project team names and institutional affiliation

  • Dr Richard Talbot, Senior Lecturer in Performance, School of Arts & Media, University of Salford
  • Dr Claire Dormann, specialist in Digital Media and Humour, University of Liverpool (formerly with Salford Institute of Dementia)

150 word abstract summarising project

Assistive technologies supplement declining physical and cognitive abilities and assist people living with dementia in performing their daily activities, and with monitoring health and safety. To complement these approaches, we are investigating online performance applications that enhance well being, provide social interaction and stimulate joy and laughter. We use clown performances as a starting point for our investigation and are finding new approaches to clowning as a form in this environment. Clown interventions have long been adapted within the health care context. Thus we are exploring Telly Clown practices, telematic clown, clown on Skype, for the benefits of people living with dementia, families and caregivers, including grandchildren.

Following research that has demonstrated a link between performance interventions and alleviating anxiety for people living with dementia and their carers, we are conducting these practical experiments and aim for these applications to be used at homes, in community centres or care homes rather than hospitals.

We are conducting four short laboratory experiments to test prototype interactive performances with groups of people living with dementia. We have promoted the project at the SiFD Dementia Cafe, Humphrey Booth Resource Centre Swinton and amongst Salford student nurses and Dementia Associates. We will be presenting a paper at the Theatre & Performance Research Association conference in September 2017.

Conference presentations

Forthcoming:

  • Spot the Difference - Post the Sameness: Experiments in Virtual Clowning.
    Richard Talbot, School of Arts & Media, University of Salford, Theatre and Performance Research Association Conference, Salford, 1st September 2017
  • Workshop and Paper – ‘Falling and Tumbling Online: Clown Interactions and Tele-Health Care’ at CIRCUS SYMPOSIUM:
    PHILIP ASTLEY AND THE LEGACY OF MODERN CIRCUS, Manchester Metropolitan University 26 & 27 September 2017

Other dissemination activities

Presentations:

  • Nursing Society Dementia Awareness Conference 17th July 2017
  • Humphrey Booth Resource Centre and Poppy Day Care Centre Dementia Awareness Day 19th May 2017

Website links (if applicable)

Blog (work in progress)

Additional project videos on Vimeo.

 

 

Richard Talbot/Kurt Zarniko and Veteran Clown Performer, Leo Nolan Evans ‘Silly Old-Me’
© Richard Talbot

Dementia Hub Clowning
Dementia hub clowning

Sensory Palaces Research Project

Project title

Sensory Palaces Research Project

Theme

Creativity

Funder and amount

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) £28,995

Start and end dates

May 2017-June 2018

Project lead name and email contact

Anthea Innes

Project team names and institutional affiliation

  • Monika Sharma
  • Helen Scholar

150 word abstract summarising project

Include research question/aims/objectives

Methods

Findings (if completed project)

In line with the brief the aims of the research are to conduct high quality data to enable the research team to understand:

  • the health and wellbeing impact of the Sensory Palaces experience on people living with dementia
  • the health and wellbeing impact of the Sensory Palaces experience on carers
  • the health and wellbeing impact of the Sensory Palaces experience on couples’ relationships (people living with dementia and their carer spouses)
  • the role of the heritage setting in the wellbeing impact of the sensory Palaces experience

The research seeks to answer two key questions:

  • What is the health and wellbeing impact of the Sensory Palaces programme on the participants – people living with dementia and their carers?
  • What role does the heritage setting play in their experience and the wellbeing impact of the programme?

And produce the following outputs:

  • Report detailing the data analysis and findings of the research
  • Feedback session to HRP staff

Two research articles for publication the first focussing on the research findings and the second the research process we follow.

Conference presentations

  • Innes et al The dementia sensory palaces project: early findings. Interdem Meeting, Berlin Oct 17
  • Innes et al Involving people with dementia in heritage sites Alzheimer Europe, Berlin Oct 17
  • Innes et al The dementia sensory palaces project: Reflections on lessons learnt Dementia Congress, Doncaster, Nov 17