Innovative dementia projects improving quality of life for people in Calderdale


During Dementia Awareness Week (4th-10th July), South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is raising awareness of its groundbreaking initiatives it has launched in Calderdale to help older people living with dementia, as well as their carers and families.

Dementia Awareness Week is an annual event run by the Alzheimer’s Society that aims to raise awareness of dementia. This year the Alzheimer’s Society is asking people to think about the simple things they can do to make life for someone with dementia more manageable and enjoyable.

The Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services in the Calderdale area, has a number of innovative projects taking place across Calderdale which are already improving the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers.

One of these initiatives is the dance and movement psychotherapy service which uses arts based therapies as a psychologically based treatment and care option for people with dementia.

Movement, dance, music, reminiscence and song are at the core of the work and all these have been shown in research studies to benefit people who are cognitively impaired. Arts based activities such as singing are very accessible which enables carers to continue to also provide support in this way.

Use of arts based therapies are already benefitting people who use Trust services and the results have been vast. Staff at a Calderdale day centre found that a woman who had attended for several years and whose condition was deteriorating was still able to take part in dancing and singing therapies. She enjoyed both activities a great deal and her wellbeing increased after every session. Of particular significance to her family and carers was that as a previously trained dancer the service helped maintain her psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing.

This work and other examples of the Trust’s innovative care is detailed in a regional dementia innovation directory. The directory gives people across the region, from commissioners to carers, a flavour of what can and is being achieved to enable people to live well with dementia. The Trust’s senior planning manager Mary Duggan worked to pull together all of the information for the directory on behalf of the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Partnership (YHIP).

Ben Boyd a general manger for the Trust’s older people’s services in Calderdale said, “Dementia Awareness Week is all about raising awareness of dementia and the support available for those who live with the condition, as well as their carers and families. It is a great opportunity for us to promote the pioneering work that’s been going on in the Trust’s older people’s services recently, that makes such a difference to the quality of life of people with the dementia, as well as their carers and families. I hope that these projects continue to have a positive impact on dementia care and that more and more people benefit from them. We are developing and improving care for people with dementia all the time and I look forward to even more innovations being developed in the future.”

For more information about Dementia Awareness Week visit

Innovative dementia projects improving quality of life for people in Calderdale

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