Dementia Awareness Week 2016: Sharing The Creative Potential Of People With Dementia

Posted on May 12, 2016

As part of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Awareness Week (15th – 21st May 2016), we celebrate and share three of our current projects for people with dementia in Greater Manchester.

Our Stories – For people with Young Onset Dementia and their carersLEARNING Opera 3

Our Stories is a research-led music and drama project as part of our Arts and Science collaboration with the University of Manchester and the Young Onset Dementia Service at Daisy Bank Road.  The project enables people living with dementia to share their experiences with their illness and spread positive messages about living well with dementia. It also gives them the opportunity to solidify their role as artists within a creative community rather than being defined by their illness.

At the end of the project, the participants will share their new piece of music drama with the public, giving insights into their life stories, their experiences of living with dementia and how their lives and relationships have adapted.

‘We should turn this into a drama, dramatize it…it should be acted in a theatre.’ Participant, Portraits of Place – Daisy Bank Road

Watch the ‘Portraits of Place’ video

Come to the performance at 12pm on 22nd June at Victoria Park Centre, Daisy Bank Road, Manchester M14 5QN.

Music in Mind – for people with later stages Dementia in care homes/ community centres

The Music in Mind programme aims to help people at the end of their lives to ‘age well’ by directly improving their quality of life. It is widely accepted that people with dementia and their carers often feel socially isolated as a result of their illness, even when living in a care home. Music in Mind addresses this by using music as a means of communication between people, by bringing groups together, establishing new friendships and support networks.

‘100% of community participants and 75% of care home residents felt that the sessions had improved their relationships with their carer/family member.’ Music in Mind Rochdale Evaluation, 2015

Sessions are currently taking place in care homes across Tameside in collaboration with Tameside MBC, and will soon be taking place in care homes and community centres in collaboration with Rochdale Social Investment Fund.

Watch the Music in Mind Tameside video

Tameside Opera – for older people with or without Dementia and their carers

‘An Incomplete Book…’ is a creative opera project for older people in Tameside that seeks to continue to reduce the sense of loneliness in the borough and establish a new peer mentor role for last year’s participants.

Three participant groups are currently taking part in the project, working with a Camerata composer, dramatist and musicians to explore the themes and create a new opera, and then join together to rehearse as a theatre company and share their new piece at Dukinfield Town Hall and the Grafton Centre.

We were expressing. We were creating.’ Our opinions were valued and made important.’

‘Music is great to open one up to a new world of feelings. We were doing something meaningful. We were caring for each other. We did not feel forgotten. The music brings people together.’

Watch last year’s documentary

‘An Incomplete Book’ is being performed on 29th June at Dukinfield Town Hall, 5 – 7.30 pm, and on 22nd July at the Grafton Centre in Hyde, 3.30 – 4.30 pm. To book your free tickets please contact Lucy Geddes – / 0161 908 0042.

Alongside the Alzheimer’s Society, we encourage people who are worried about dementia to confront their worries by addressing dementia directly and seeking information and support. You can do this by visiting or calling the Alzheimer’s Society helpline on 0300 222 11 22.