Innovative project launched in Wakefield to improve services for older people with dementia


A local NHS service that provides care for older people with dementia in Wakefield has introduced a new project to get people involved in creative activities.

The older people’s service is run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to people in Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees.

Dementia is a condition that affects peoples’ mental abilities. The most common symptoms include loss of memory, confusion and changes in behaviour and personality. Research has shown that creative activities involving art, music, drama and dance give people with dementia the opportunity to express themselves through activity and can improve their mood and cognitive abilities.

The ADAPT project (Arts and Dementia Access Project) has been developed by staff at the older people’s service. It will be implemented in three stages. The first stage of the project has started and staff are including creative activities involving art, dance and drama into everyday treatment for people using the service. For example a special performance by the Badapple theatre company of their Land Girls production has been organised for two community units at the start of November.

Paula Rylatt, a specialist practitioner at the Trust said, "We are really looking forward to the performances. Creative activities like this can make a significant difference to the wellbeing of people with dementia as they can help improve mood, behaviour and aid reminiscence. The play is part of a programme of activities we are running in Wakefield to increase the opportunities people with dementia have to express themselves through art, music and drama."

Jane Currie the older people’s services manager in Wakefield said, "The ADAPT project is an excellent example of the innovative work that is going on in the Trust’s older people’s services, which makes such a difference to the quality of life of people with dementia, their families and carers. The Trust is developing and improving care for people with dementia all the time and I look forward to more projects like this being developed in the future."

Innovative project launched in Wakefield to improve services for older people with dementia

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