Developing a creative and theatre based intervention for young people with dementia and their carers

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


This presentation will describe the early stages of an ongoing project exploring the development of a creative and theatre based intervention for younger people with dementia (under the age of 65 years) and their carers. Research with this group has found they are often a marginalised group, who experience significant social isolation (Green and Kleissen, 2013, Harris and Keady, 2009 and Clemersonet al., 2013). The field of artistic engagement and dementia is growing, currently much of the work is aimed at those aged over 65 years and reside within a care home, as evidenced through the work of Ladder to the Moon (UK) and TimeSlips (USA). Interventions often focus on the carer as a staff member and tailor the work towards developing improved staff carer and person with dementia relationships. This project aims to learn from this work, adopting positive aspects, for example its focus on a person centered approach, use of music, creative storytelling and movement, and explore how these can be adapted to create an intervention which focuses on the needs of those within a younger age group (under 65 years of age) and their informal carers, living within the community. The presentation will outline the proposed method, which will include participant observations during the workshops, semi-structured pre and post intervention interviews conducted with the people with dementia and their carers. Each participant pair will also be asked to record their journey through the intervention with a diary/photo diary which will be used to aid the post intervention interviews. This abstract will also present learnings from best practice in the field of creative engagement with older people with dementia, which will be reviewed in relation to its fit with a younger age group. The project will aim to investigate the way in which creativity can aid communication pathways between the carer and person with dementia, consider the role of identity developed through the creative process and aims to better understand the value of engaging with a creative intervention from the perspective of the person with dementia and their carer. A celebratory event is planned to display the work undertaken to a wider community audience, via an exhibition or open workshop, providing a vehicle to challenge, often, negative perceptions towards dementia and inviting the wider community to consider their awareness and understanding of dementia and share in the experiences of those participating in the intervention.
Period12 Oct 2013
Event title23rd Alzheimer Europe Conference
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Dementia
  • Drama
  • Creativity