CW+ is the charity for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. We exist to make care better for patients and their families through research, innovation, art and design.
One of our latest projects is called 'Care of Older People' which aims to improve the wellbeing, health and hospital experience for our older patients.
Patients have recently been participating in various performing arts activities at the hospital, including:
Memory Lane and Memory Lane Training Programme
There has been a wealth of research into music for older patients, as a way of improving visual awareness, focusing attention, improving auditory and verbal memory and improving mood. In light of this research, we have "Memory Lane" reminiscence piano sessions every Monday afternoon on our Dementia and Stroke ward, hosted by our pianist-in-residence Maria Marchant.
In partnership with the Royal College of Music and Concordia Foundation, we also train 6-8 pianists a year to work across two other older patients" wards in the hospital, bringing reminiscence music sessions to a further 5,000 patients and training new musicians to work within hospital settings.
Playlist for Life
We have partnered with Investec Opera Holland Park and Playlist for Life to launch project for older people in the hospital. The project involves creating personalised music playlists with patients using an iPad to encourage patients to reminisce and connect with their past and their identity. Personalised music listening has been shown to provide an opportunity for families and carers to share experiences with their loved ones, stimulate the brain to prompt specific neural connections and alleviate anxiety and depression.
After working with patients to create playlists, patients, relatives and staff are invited to live music performances from Opera Holland Park on the ward to showcase favourite music from individual playlists.
We are working with renowned "dementia poet" John Killick to deliver poetry sessions for Older People in the hospital. We have just hosted our first pilot session for patients where they created their own poems, as well as heard poems being read to them, and we are now putting together ideas for a longer-term poetry project. We will work with patients at bedside and in day rooms to create poetry, helping patients to deal with their emotions, clarify their thoughts, tell their personal story and have fun. John will also mentor new poets and train them in delivering sessions within clinical settings who will continue to work with CW+ in the future.
We are working with professional dance company Rambert Dance to deliver movement workshops for Older People in the hospital. Using Rambert"s expertise in delivering accessible seated workshops, we are currently working with dementia patients at bedside and in day rooms, supporting their hospital treatment and enhancing their mental health, wellbeing and fitness.