Living Words began working with people experiencing a dementia in 2007. At the start it was just Susanna, following her nose, discovering what this work would be with the intention of communicating in the moment using silence, the spoken and written word. Since then we have conducted residencies in care homes, nursing homes, community settings, arts centres and hospitals. What emerged has been honed over the years into a methodology; a person-centred approach and programme that we want to see taking place across the UK and beyond.
The residencies inspire our wider programme of performances and publications. We aim to share the inside world of people whose voices are not usually heard, so that together we can all learn to see the person not the diagnosis, and so face dementia head on.
In becoming a charity we look forward to gaining the funding and support required to enable many more people to experience Living Words — those living with a dementia and their relatives and carers through our residencies; and the wider public through performances, events and publications.
We believe in continual growth and renewal – we welcome collaboration and mutual learning.
We believe that professionals in the care environment can be disrespected by society in the same way people with dementia can. This means that it is important that carers, nurses and managers also feel heard and know how to implement creative ways to nurture themselves and the people they work with.
We believe that the younger generation – brought up in a sound bite, non-linear cultural landscape – will be much better at understanding, communicating with and intergrating individuals living with dementia in to daily life. They won’t be so scared.
We believe that if you believe in people, they can lift themselves up.