Interactive theatre group Vamos came to Earlsdon Park Village in Coventry to perform Sharing Joy for residents and staff.
The performance is specifically targeted at people with dementia and their carers as it involves the audience and encourages participation, allowing residents to better connect with what is going on around them.
Vamos use props, music and masks to allow people with dementia to easily access the narrative and to share in the experience of watching the performance. The story is nostalgic and includes costumes and music from the 40s and 50s, evoking memories of the past for many residents.
Donna Peters, ExtraCare’s Activities and Events Manager said: “Vamos put on a fantastic performance. Sharing Joy allowed our residents to be engaged in the story and feel part of it, which is especially important for those who have dementia. This kind of event is exactly what ExtraCare is all about, encouraging older people to live fulfilled lives no matter what.”
Martin Shreeve, Chair of the Board of Trustees for The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, joined residents to watch the performance of Sharing Joy. He said, “It was amazing. We've seen in the space of an hour people become totally engaged and alive - it's what drama ought to be about.
“We tend to think of older people based on where they are now and forget they had a life that has spanned 70 or more years, and have had amazing experiences. This show has been developed from the personal experience of a carer and they've taken that on to engage directly with older people living with dementia and it's just amazing.”
Shirley Hall, Wellbeing and Community Manager at ExtraCare, said: “The performance from Vamos had so much to offer our residents. Many of them got involved either by singing, dancing, playing with the large balloons or parachute, and really being able to express their emotions. You could really see and feel the energy and happiness in the room at the end from both staff and residents making it an experience that would not easily be forgotten.”
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The ExtraCare Charitable Trust
ExtraCare is a registered charity established in 1988 and based in Coventry. Our vision is better lives for older people and our mission is creating sustainable communities that provide homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it’s needed. To deliver our vision and mission we essentially do three things:
Each village or scheme has 5 to 18 social, health and leisure facilities that are accessible to our residents, volunteers and local people representing all age groups living in surrounding communities. Our Charity Shops help fund care and well-being services for older people living at our each of our locations. www.extracare.org.uk