Animated Anthologies

A "sundowner" paints a picture of a long drink, a view to contemplate and a moment to relax with your friends and put the day to bed. A sundowner may also trigger an experience of high agitation and anxiety for dementia sufferers that plays out every early evening.  As governments instigate "ageing in place" there will always be dementia specific units required in aged care settings. We are interested in non-pharmaceutical interventions, combining a multi layered approach that may play a role in minimalizing challenging behaviours. Can arts based models of engagement compliment staff management with residents and can creating more non-clinical socially interactive environments increase family and child participation with their loved ones? Animated Anthologies is the creation of theatre makers Beth McMahon and Michael Bevitt who worked with our team to initiate a 7 day residency in a dementia secure wing, living around the clock with 23 residents. The work is intentional in its indirect approach, immersive and a gradual process of building an installation inspired by the relationships formed .  Residents self determine their level of participation and their curiosity fosters stories - real or imagined. The installation becomes a socially inclusive nest, a meeting place, a centre for conversation encompassing familiar and domestic activity. Themes deeply connected to individuals ignites a process of theatre making. A figurative synthesis of the residents lives - past, present and future - literally an Animated Anthology. The evaluation below reveals significant learning's from this arts in health partnership with the artists, residents, staff and families at Island Care - Waratah Lodge, Ulverstone, Tasmania. Animated Anthologies Evaluation  

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