This is a transcript of the Creative Compassion workshop, held at the 2nd South West Annual Dementia Care in Hospitals Conference on 5th July 2011, in which participants shared stories illustrating their insights about creativity and compassion in dementia care.
Participants reached a consensus that creativity engages our imagination and is therefore fundamental to our capacity for empathy. The need for ‘How To’ work for introducing creative arts into hospital dementia care was vigorously endorsed.
Participants included people involved with acute hospital nursing, care home management, general medical practice, occupational therapy, mental health and day services, health service development, voluntary sector organizations, informal care and creative arts practice.
As well as stories, the session generated questions, comments and strands of discussion, included here. The transcript is lightly edited from an audio-recording of the workshop, and from notes people added to a flip-chart. While some of the material is bulleted, the stories have been reproduced more or less verbatim. The transcript conveys the power of people’s experiences and of their willingness to be vulnerable with each other in listening, telling and questioning.