Research Summary: Enhancing communication between dementia care staff and their residents: an arts-inspired intervention
What is ‘Creative Conversations’?
Creative Conversations explored whether the arts could be used as a tool to enhance the skills of dementia care staff.
The project was a partnership between Bangor University, Dementia Positive and TenFiveTen (private companies) and Flintshire County Council Social Services.
Why did we do this project?
Care homes are busy environments and care staff often feel a tension between getting tasks done and engaging in meaningful activities with residents.
Previous research has shown that when care staff have taken part in arts activities for people living with dementia, they often reported a deeper understanding of the people they care for, even though they were not the target of the activity.
What did we do?
We developed and tested the ‘Creative Conversations’ programme* which used a range of creative activities (poetry, film, music, art making) to help staff realise the possibilities within dementia care. It aimed to provide staff with practical communication skills to enhance caring relationships between staff and residents in their day-to-day practice.
Who took part?
Forty four care staff from fourteen care homes in Flintshire, North Wales took part in the project. They were all female and had a considerable amount of experience of working in dementia care.
What are the key findings?
What are the implications?
Creative Conversations: An exploratory study of an arts in health approach to embedding person-centred care and improving communication between care staff and people living with dementia was a partnership between Bangor University, Dementia Positive, TenFiveTen and Flintshire County Council Social Services funded by Health and Care Research Wales, Welsh Government & supported by the Centre of Ageing and Dementia Research and Created Out of Mind. For more info: [email protected] ; +44 (0) 01248 382226 ; @kat_algar
Read the full publication: The full article describing ‘Creative Conversations’ is published in a peer- reviewed journal and is freely available: Windle, G., Algar-Skaife, K., Caulfield, M., Pickering-Jones, L., Killick, J., Zeilig, H. & Tischler, V. (2019): Enhanc- ing communication between dementia care staff and their residents: an arts- inspired intervention, Aging & Mental Health.
*’Creative Conversations’ staff development programme is based on and takes its inspiration from two earlier programmes: