Elderly care roleplay training in Holland for Superact artists
Following this month’s confirmation that part 2 of the Arts Crafts and Dignity in Care (ACDC) project would be funded by the EU, Superact’s resident artists embarked on a new course of “immersive” training in Termeuzen, Holland.
For the training, Superact artists take part in the “STimul experience” which is a unique technique that puts care workers in the place of a care receiver by putting artificial disabilities in place for a short period of time.
In Holland, the artists 'real experience' was for elderly people, with traits such as dementia, blindness, hearing loss, loss of other faculties. As part of the training, the artists or care workers may be bed bound, blindfolded or have their hearing blocked with everyday challenges set so that they can reflect on the experience to better understand the people they work with.
Evidence shows that after this experience care givers change their way of working making better contact with the care receivers and take better care of their needs relieving loneliness and social isolation.
Interviewed directly from the training session, Superact’s Stu Packer offered his thoughts:
“We’re out here at sTimul, Terneuzen, Netherlands. Our hosts have been amazing; the partners enlightening and meeting the student carers has been humbling.
“We slept in a simulated hospital last night after being given the traits of elderly people for the 'real experience'. The results were mind boggling - our heart strings plucked and souls lifted.
“Right at this moment, Paul Hutchinson (accordionist) and Sarah Mooney (Storyteller) are deep in a workshop conversation with Katie Bennett and Malcolm from Partners in Care and 2 lovely Dutch Social Work students. They are developing a workshop to be tested and then rolled out in Dorset and Somerset next year.
“The atmosphere is heady with caring, compassion, creativity, laughter, touching poignancy and everyone is caught up in the heartfelt side of caring for people. ACDC at it's core best. We are all so happy and privileged to be part of this collaborative experience.”
Refelecting on her time after the event, Sarah Mooney added:
“Wow a big THANK YOU to ACDC. It (the experience) was full on IMMENSE. FANTASTIC! If only you could see how wide open my mouth is. I really appreciate being part of the project.”
As part of the Interreg EU funding strand, the ACDC project cluster ultimately aims to reduce social isolation through creative engagement, helping socially isolated people enhance both their participation in and contribution to society.
ACDC, short for “Arts, Crafts and Dignity in Care” is a cluster in the Interreg IV A 2 “Mers Seas Zeeën Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013. ACDC capitalizes on the learning of two Interreg IV A A 2 “Mers Seas Zeeën projects IC Music and Dignity in Care. Partners from IC Music teach DiC partners how to use the arts to help alleviate social isolation, showing a different way of working with people by communicating through music.