This Project is specifically aimed at but not exclusively for elderly people who are at risk of, in the early stages of or living with dementia. It has several aspects to its delivery all of which are designed to slow the progress and reduce the symptoms of dementia, enrich lives and provide an opportunity to socialise not only with peers but with young people too which we hope will help to break down stereo types and create an understanding between the different ages.
The idea is that we can recreate in our space a 1950's style 'club' where we can provide entertainment in the genre of that era this will include: Live music performed by music students who will dress and sing in a 1950's style and invite audiences to 'join in' with familiar songs from their youth, theatrical skits performed by drama students, black and white film shows that were big hits during the fifties and dancing and/or movement exercises (for those unable to dance). Refreshments, including tea, coffee, soft drinks, cakes, biscuits and buns will be served throughout the afternoon by students working towards a hospitality accreditation (Our local Tesco store has agreed to provide these refreshments for free). People will enter the club of an average of 77 and leave feeling 21 years old.
Students will also engage with our elderly visitors and, with their permission, will record oral histories that will be burned onto CD's or, if we include pictures and video footage, DVD's creating wonderful keep sakes for relatives. There is also the opportunity to use some of our Ipads and, via Sykpe, connect with relatives who live far away. We will also provide an opportunity for students studying Health & Social Care to provide one to one support to those elderly members who may require it although some specialist carers may need to be bought in for those people who require personal care.
The project will run on a weekly basis with 'special' performances performed at the end of each quarter. The regularity of the event will increase the likelihood of a reduction in dementia symptoms, help to strengthen new relationships that have been formed reducing the feeling of isolation and give members something to look forward to each week. The idea is supported and endorsed by Calderdale's Neighbourhood Schemes Team who will help us to identify those people most likely to benefit from it and will arrange transport for those who need it. We also have the endorsement of Age UK who have agreed that the project can only be beneficial and that there is a definite need for this kind of activity in Calderdale. As we are based adjacent to the Alms house we have discussed the project with the warden of those residents who feels that at least 12 to 20 of them would enjoy the activity and benefit from it.