‘Creative Care and the Capacity to Play’ – An excerpt from The Creative Arts in Dementia Care, by Jill Hayes with Sarah Povey

“In working in dementia care we need often to let ourselves become foolish, unconventional, stop making sense. I have been thrilled to meet staff who at the drop of a hat will dress up, play the guitar, sing uproariously…or who have the capacity to sit quietly with someone without an agenda. It is this joy of the crazy and the still, this lightness of being, which is refreshing and life-promoting in the work that we do. We can play with balloons, blow bubbles, doodle, improvise. We don’t have to make a finished product. By creatively and somatically being with a person we can instil a sense of safety, of physical and emotional security.”

Bob Woods on the importance of family involvement in care homes for people with dementia

“Then came the opportunity to plan a new style of dementia care home, right in the heart of the catchment area, and the positive effects on relatives’ guilt and strain were palpable. [Relatives] visited more often and felt considerably more involved. But there were tensions too; relatives were often dissatisfied with staff, and staff felt that relatives were more of a problem than the residents. It became clear that the relationship between staff and relatives needed just as much attention as that between staff and residents.”