Rosie Allen Perdikeas is a highly experienced and trained Dance and Arts Practitioner and has worked with older people across Devon delivering in both Care Homes and Community Settings for over a decade. Rosie was part of a project run by Dance in Devon called Silver Dancers, bringing high quality weekly dance sessions to residents in care for a year. The end of the project was celebrated with a wonderful tea dance and performance with family, friends and the community invited to join in. Rosie is also a fully trained Dementia Support Worker/Advisor and has worked with The Alzheimer’s Society in Plymouth and across West Devon. This involved working with people with dementia, carers and families and was both in the Community and also in Residential Care. Rosie also coordinated Memory Cafes and Singing for the Brain groups.
”The dance sessions are wonderful for residents and offer something new and stimulating. The change of mood for many residents from despondency or frustration to real enjoyment is heartening and often long lasting”- Care Home Manager
Rosie’s initial visits to Residential Care Home’s involves getting an overall feel for the home, meeting staff and getting to know the residents. Rosie does this through conversation, prop, visual aid or music, finding out about them as people and the life stories they hold. She also endeavours to learn about relevant health conditions in relation to safe practise and exercise, finding out who would like to join a dance session and where the best place in the home will be to run a session. Also, which member of staff is able to join and support the session (oftentimes the Activities Coordinator or staff member that is interested in learning more about dance and exercise for older people). Rosie also opines that having a member of staff on board is hugely beneficial in many ways:
- it creates the opportunity to enhance and learn new skills, they can provide support to participants and the dance leader where necessary
- they can take ideas forward that can be shared and integrated into care duties and with other activities
- it enables a different kind of interaction between the carer and residents giving them time to get to know each other in a relaxed and creative environment
On the subsequent visits, Rosie delivers group dance & movement sessions. The dance practise Rosie offers is person centred and inclusive, it utilises chair seated, standing assisted, standing movement, exercise and has a focus on falls prevention, maintaining and improving strength, balance and coordination. Props, themes (seasonal, celebratory, culturally, connecting with local events) and a wide variety of music are used with the aim of creating a fun, engaging and uplifting experience, one that can enable participants to feel relaxed, stimulated, and enjoy each other’s company through a different form of expression and means of communication.