'I really don't like the word dementia.'
'She could still do knitting but not remember what she did in the morning.'
In January and February 2020, the artists ran a total of eight creative workshops for people with dementia and their families. The sessions took place at two different settings: Red House Museum in Christchurch and Aldershot Centre for Health in Aldershot.
Red House had started their own project focusing on older people with dementia and their carers, called Still Curious, so it was a good fit in terms of audience for this project. They were very successful in recruting participants who were mostly couples.
At Aldershot centre For Health, Barbara already had links to working in the NHS. The students were recruited through the Older People's Unit. Recruitement was a lot more difficult than at Red House despite transport being offered. What was interesting was that participants came on their own and there was a high level of participation from staff including managers and medical staff.
Here is a reflection piece on the workshop phase through the lens of Covid-19:
'It’s like I’ve got a new pair of eyes. I am seeing everything differently. As I am considering what to do next with my project Detangling The Knots, I am also looking back at the last live phase of the project when we did workshops. How to write about the workshops without considering the new circumstances Covid-19 has brought us? Everything we did in the project so far would now seem impossible: visiting research laboratories and running workshops (in real life)... read more >