This presentation reports on the effects of a program of stand up comedy and improvisation workshops with people who have dementia. The Qual Ad and GHQ 28 questionnaires and semi-structured telephone interviews were used to collect data from 80 participants who have participated in the Stand up for Dementia Program and their carers. The fi ndings indicate that dementia does not prevent participants from laughing appropriately or successfully creating and performing comedy. As well as being good fun the data suggest that the program has therapeutic benefi ts as improvements in memory, learning, sociability, communication, self esteem and overall well being for participants and some fl ow on effects to carers as well. The short fi lm in this presentation shows dramatically the effects of the Stand Up for Dementia Program on participants. The process of the developing and undertaking the workshops is also discussed by the comedian facilitator.
Stevens, JA & Nolan, AJ 2012, 'Stand up for dementia: performance improvisaton and stand up comedy for people with dementia', paper presented to The fabric of life: Australian College of Mental Health Nursing 38th International Mental Health Nursing Conference, Darwin, NT, 3-5 October.