A ground-breaking project in Calderdale and Kirklees to increase the range of therapeutic arts activity available to older people, especially those at the early stages of dementia conditions. It also aims to improve the understanding of carers and care staff about the role of the arts in this context.
Breathing Space is delivered by Kirklees-based organisation Hoot, a registered charity based in Huddersfield with over 9 years experience of developing art projects in the North of England. Hoot offers a range of opportunities for people to get involved in music, dance and other creative activities as a way of improving physical and emotional wellbeing.
The Breathing Space project delivers structured sessions for people with early-stage dementia conditions and their family or carer. Experienced artists support engagement in a range of creative activities including visual arts, singing, music and movement. Sessions are currently running in Huddersfield and Dewsbury. A sister project also runs in Calderdale alongside care homes and other partner organisations.
The project also creates new opportunities for residential and day care staff to engage in training that will educate, inform and develop capacity related to arts-based practice in dementia care
The project encourages participation by health and social care staff in order to develop a better understanding of the role of the arts in fostering wellbeing in this client group.
Benefits of Breathing Space include:
- A boosted sense of wellbeing for a person with dementia and their carer, and benefits to their relationship through shared participation in a creative activity
- Improved maintenance of cognitive ability
- Opportunity to make and maintain relationships, reduce social isolation and development of communication without the use of verbal language
- Celebration and maintenance of personhood through creating stories, pictures and music based on life experiences
- Development of new skills and understanding related to the use of the arts for care staff and carers
- Raising broader awareness of creative approaches to dementia care
- Modelling of effective partnership arrangements between the Trust and a creative community agency
Hoot creative activity programme
Hoot’s new creative activity programme restarted in 2015. Visit www.hootcreativearts.co.uk for more information.
Who is the creative activity programme for?
- Out of the Blue offers a range of creative opportunities for people in Kirklees aged 18+ to help improve or maintain their mental health and wellbeing
- Breathing Space offers a range of creative activities for people in Kirklees living with dementia and their family member, partner, carer or support worker
- Digisphere is Hoot’s new creative technology space, where you can develop your music making, digital design and filming skills further. All of these sessions are extended in Open Access sessions, where you can continue to build creative technology skills whilst working on your own projects
- Sing Well offers harmony singing for the wellbeing of people over 55 living in Kirklees