Monday, 21 September 2015

People living with dementia can enjoy puppets too.

What we didn't expect from our Times of our Lives dementia awareness project, is the joy puppets gave to people living with dementia. During our research and interaction with the older generation, we introduced puppets as a way of talking to these groups about our work and enjoying singing and interacting with us. Depending on the level of the individual, we could work in so many different ways with the puppets. Some just wanted to cuddle and stroke the hairy puppets, some wanted to use the puppet to talk, sing and dance with (I even ballroom danced with a gentleman with one of our full size monsters between us!) and some wanted to appreciate our puppetry skills and relate them to their own childhood experiences of  famous entertainers or their own toys.We have even left puppets with some groups and many have been bought from us for people living with dementia to enjoy. The biggest success in this way has been with the dog puppets. They have soothed and entertained in their usual delightful way. I really think we are on to something here and plan to create more puppets for this purpose in the future.