Good Vibrations: How mentorship can deepen University learning and how dance can begin to answer the primary social and psychological needs of people living with dementia

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Abstract

‘Good Vibrations’ was a study designed to contribute to the understanding of the impacts of dance for people living with dementia. Following on from Essex’s findings from a one-year funded residency with Age UK Central Lancaster, the study further sought to understand how university knowledge can be developed through hands-on learning and mentorship.

 

This came together in three parts: i) the use of Tom Kitwood’s model of the five primary social and psychological needs of people living with dementia to develop dance-based exercises that satisfied the primary needs of participants. ii) A Facebook page to share reflections and new knowledge with fellow practitioners.  iii) A feedback cycle based on the Honey and Mumford (2012) cycle of learning between myself, the students, and key stakeholders.

 

Interviews with care staff, carers, and participants revealed that the sessions met the primary needs of the participants, demonstrating a positive impact on their wellbeing. Interviews and observation of the university students demonstrated a significant impact on their understanding of a complex subject area. Additionally, the study revealed benefits to arts practitioners working with people living with dementia.  Interviews with the students demonstrated a development of their confidence, empathy, and ambition.

 

This research has capacity to influence scholarly thought and has been widely disseminated including being presented at and published through Well -Being 2016: The third international conference exploring the multi-dimensions of well-being, Pint of Science at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Lighting the Fuse: better engagement in public health through arts & media (Fuse the Centre for Transnational Research in Public Health), and Older Persons Day at National Dance Agency, Dance City. Essex’s work in this field has been recognized though an invitation to sit on the Celebrating Age advisory panel. The project was supported by Tees Valley Dance and Age UK Darlington.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2016
EventWell-Being 2016: The third international conference exploring the multi-dimensions of well-being - Birmingham City University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20166 Sep 2016

Conference

ConferenceWell-Being 2016: The third international conference exploring the multi-dimensions of well-being
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBirmingham
Period5/09/166/09/16

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Essex, J. (2016). Good Vibrations: How mentorship can deepen University learning and how dance can begin to answer the primary social and psychological needs of people living with dementia. Paper presented at Well-Being 2016: The third international conference exploring the multi-dimensions of well-being, Birmingham, United Kingdom.