For many years the dementia “therapy” of choice was to continuously reorient the individual to person, time, and place.  Whether you’re a professional caregiver, or the most loving, attentive family member, it’s an exhausting strategy… and it ultimately doesn’t work.  In recent years the focus has shifted to using Improvisational Theater tools.  It isn’t about being funny or “performing”… it’s about stepping into another person’s world and engaging with “yes, and”.  Letting go of the old scenes and being ready to experience the new…

NPR’s This American Life has a beautiful example of how family caregivers (and professionals) are using the basic tools of Improv engagement.

http://tal.fm/532/2

[Note:  Act 2, “Rainy Days and Mundys” starts at about 27 mins into the program.  Use the > arrow in the player]