Launched in 2001, The Elderflowers programme uses the performing arts to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their families in hospital and residential care in Scotland. The Elderflowers are a team of professional arts practitioners who are specially trained in a unique programme developed by Hearts & Minds former Artistic Director, Magdalena Schamberger. We are the only organisation in the UK using this programme of care.
Improving lives

People with dementia who are in hospital care are likely to experience a range of related needs and issues alongside their medical condition, including:

  • Depression
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Difficulty with self-expression
  • Difficulty socialising with others
  • Sensory decline
  • Boredom and frustration
  • Confusion

Creating moments of joy and wellbeing

The aim of the Elderflowers programme is to reach the person behind the illness and work to address these complex issues, improving participant wellbeing and happiness.

The immersive Elderflowers programme provides a valuable outlet for the participant's own personality and humour, offering creative, physical and mental stimulation through music and stories. The Elderflowers are trained to pick up on the interests and mood of each individual elderly person and respond accordingly, this can mean playful banter or very gentle, non-verbal communication.

As numbers continue to increase in dementia wards, it is vitally important that these elderly ladies and gentlemen still have the opportunity to be stimulated, participate in the arts and are encouraged to interact and laugh.

Who We Help

The Elderflowers programme offers a unique approach to dementia care. It benefits men and women aged 50 years and over, who are in full time hospital care, suffering from the following conditions:

  • Advanced dementia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Pick’s Disease
  • Huntingdon’s Disease

The Elderflowers programme responds to the specific needs of each patient through extensive liaison with healthcare staff who refer participants directly to the Elderflowers for an interactive session.

Watch the Elderflowers

You can see the Elderflowers Programme in action in the following short film: