Dramatic Connections is a 12-month dementia care program coordinated by integratedliving Australia. The program utilises drama therapy as a way to create social interactions, confidence and promote cognition in a different way to everyday life for people in our communities living with dementia.
Dramatic Connections runs in 10 week blocks, rotating between three centres in regional New South Wales, one day a week. This is followed by a final project where the three centres came together to create a short film. The program has been adapted to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of support workers, carers and family members to coordinate the program virtually.
This unique program enables interaction, a safe space to share life experiences, as well as discover commonalities and differences. Drama therapy allows clients to connect and express themselves with eye contact, role playing and non-verbal interaction. Clients were involved in every step of the filmmaking process, giving clients’ choice and enabling them to have their voice heard. They were given the independence to make all the creative choices for the film, thereby giving them a real sense of ownership, empowerment and pride in the final film.