Drama Helps With Dementia

I came across a very interesting company recently called Scripted-IMPROV™

Scripted-IMPROV™ is a program that uses improvisational and participatory drama techniques to achieve higher levels of engagement with dementia residents. Here is what it looks like:

They were the subject of a research study to examine the effects of the program on senior living residents with dementia. There were 178 participants at 12 sites that included assisted living, skilled nursing and day care. The study also included a control group.

  • They found the program resulted in a 32% increase in constructive engagement (physical and or verbal engagement).
  • There was a 100% increase in pleasure, which means smiling or laughing.
  • There was a 79% decrease in non engagement, meaning those people who were present but paying attention to something else.
  • There was a 41% decrease in apathy.
  • They also took a look at depressive symptoms post-treatment and found a significant decrease in symptoms 2-4 weeks after the activity.

Perhaps most interesting is that when the initial study was done, the researchers used professional actors and actresses to run the activity. Subsequent to the study, they have done additional research that indicates the results are even better when the programs are implemented by the care setting staff and not professionals.

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