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Project information

The Elderflowers Programme

Using the performing arts to engage the imagination and improve the quality of life and well-being of people with dementia in hospital care.


Charity information: Hearts & Minds

Hearts & Minds logo
  • Need


    People with dementia and the related conditions who are in hospital care are likely to experience a wide range of complex needs and issues including: depression, feelings of isolation, difficulty with self expression, difficulty socialising with others, sensory decline, boredom, frustration and confusion.


    The aim of the Elderflowers programme is to reach the person behind the illness and to address these complex issues, improving their wellbeing, happiness, mobility and mental agility.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reach the person behind the illness and improve their wellbeing, happiness and mental agility.


    » We create a light-hearted environment to enable conversation, and use problem solving to activate thought processes and encourage memories.

    What success will look like

    We seek verbal feedback regularly from health care staff and family members during our programme year and we have a formal evaluation process at the end of the year.

  • Impact


    Smiles and laughter for all – participants, families and staff

    For participants:

    Increase in attention and alertness

    Increased eye contact, meaningful gestures and turn taking

    Less challenging behaviour

    Increase in positive and coherent reminiscence

    Increased cooperation with healthcare staff

    Our visits also give families something to talk about and an opportunity to laugh together


    Hospital wards can sometimes be closed because of infection, so we try to reschedule our visits to a later date, so that the ladies and gentlemen don't miss out on our highly-anticipated visits.


    We send detailed reports at the end of the programme year and we also send quarterly e-newsletters to all of our donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £11,520

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £6,720 Elderflowers All practitioner costs including freelance fees, travel, resources and training for 20 visits
      £840 Admin Admin support, marketing and office rent
      £3,960 Management & development Support of Artistic Director and co-ordination by General Manager

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Small amounts from various trusts £3,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We deliver our Elderflowers' programme in various locations around Scotland.


    Ladies and gentlemen living with dementia, their relatives and care staff

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our Elderflowers programme began in 2001 and offers a unique approach to dementia care. It benefits men and women aged 50 years and over, who are in full time hospital care. We use multi-art forms including clowning, music, dancing, puppetry and storytelling. We deliver year-round activity rather than one off projects, building long-term relationships with the ladies and gentlemen with dementia, their relatives and staff. .

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Elderflower (freelance arts-in-health practitioner)


    Elderflower (freelance arts-in-health practitioner)

I've never seen her respond like that, she normally just sits there. She was really trying to sing along. That song must mean something to her

Relative of lady participant