Age Exchange’s support methodology called RADIQL™ (Reminiscence Arts and Dementia, Impact on Quality of Life) has been extensively and independently evaluated by Royal Holloway, University of London. The programme was initially piloted in Residential Care between 2012-2015, supported by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.
Simply put Reminiscence Arts is the creative exploration of memory. We bring to life our stories and experiences, our shared heritage or even the history of our shared spaces.
It’s why the use of Reminiscence Arts is at the cutting edge of dementia support. Our work builds bridges between the past the present and the future.
A three year study found that Age Exchange’s support improves the wellbeing of people with dementia by 42% whilst increasing positive behaviour by 25%. Over 200 people were involved in the research which was funded by a grant from the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
The model began as a 3 year programme supported by Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity with a grant of £608,000. The programme was designed to evaluate the practice and impact of Reminiscence Arts on the well-being of people with dementia living in 12 residential/continuing care units in Southwark and Lambeth in South London. Throughout the period of the intervention Age Exchange's professional team delivered a combination of weekly group and one to one interventions working with 12 partner residential settings. Reminiscence Arts is wholly focused on using creativity linked and personal history in order to enrich caring relationships in the present. Along with an intensive programme of activity for participants with dementia, RADIQL comprised a structured training and mentoring programme for care staff in supporting them in adopting Reminiscence Arts activity and principles in their working lives. Find out more about the programme.
As a concept RADIQL evolved from thinking and experience gained by Age Exchange through earlier projects, including Hearts and Minds with South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and the national project, Creative Ageing, supported by the D.O.H. RADIQL as in intervention in Residential Care has now concluded after 3 years of intensive work and evaluation.
Summary of findings
- Well-being of participants with dementia increased by 42% and positive behaviour increased by 25% as a result of taking part in Reminiscence Arts activity.
- Group Reminiscence Arts sessions significantly improved the quality of life of people living with dementia in the first 50 minutes.
- Engaging in Reminiscence Arts has the potential to enhance care home residents’ lives by improving their connection to both the place they currently live and to spaces of memory and imagination.
- Attending a Group Reminiscence Arts session steadily and significantly improves the quality of life of people living with dementia week-on-week over a 24 week period.
- Reminiscence Arts is a fusion of different art forms and reminiscence practices that is unique to Age Exchange. It responds to the interests, life-histories, abilities and needs of participants living with dementia.
- Group Reminiscence Arts sessions create a social space for all those who participate, including artists, carers and people living with dementia. By including a range of art-forms, Reminiscence Arts creates the opportunity for a wide range of social, cultural and aesthetic interactions.
Evaluation of RADIQL
Final Report of the Evalaution, December 2015 (by Royal Holloway University of London)
Quantitative Evaluation (Royal Holloway University of London - January 2016)
C.E.A Report, October 2015 (by Simetrica)
Age Exchange’s work involves multisensory sessions led by trained Reminiscence Arts Practitioners (RAPs). These are artists trained by Age Exchange in the use of Reminiscence and creative dementia care. The sessions include music, movement, craft and drama with memories triggered by handling of objects, watching old films and looking at photos and posters. A sensory world can be invoked by smell, sound or touch.
The methodology provides a background to our work with people living with dementia. Our model focuses on supporting carers too as they find respite and support in the service. The health and wellbeing of carers is fundamental to their abilities to continue to support loved ones to live at home. With unpaid carers of people living with dementia saving the UK economy an estimated £11.6 billion a year the importance of resources that promote the wellbeing of carers is clear.
Throughout its history the Age Exchange model has been tested and delivered across a whole range of settings – from NHS hospitals through to care homes and in the community. It has proven to be an adaptable, impactful method of support with an evidence base.
Watch a video of our RADIQL model in action - A Midsummer Nights Dream as created by the Tuesday RADIQL™ day care group.