Using drama to improve equalities in dementia care

Y Lab in collaboration with the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University and Reality Theatre brings you three films about the experiences of under-represented groups in relation to disability, ethnicity and sexuality.

The films are based on testimonials of people living with dementia, carers and professionals collected between 2019 and 2020. Community engagement was delivered in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, Diverse Cymru, Women Connect First, the British Deaf Association, Down’s Syndrome Association and Nubian Life. The filmed performances shed light on the impact racist, heteronormative and ableist microaggressions on service users’ quality of life and family relationships in dementia care settings. They aim to start a conversation about what good care looks like for all people with dementia and their families irrespective of their ethnicity, sexuality, and disability.

Next of Kin: D/deaf communication, dementia care and family in hospital settings

This performance is based on testimonials of Deaf people who use BSL and hard of hearing carers. It highlights the difficulties in communication faced by the next of kin of people living with dementia and how lack of interpretation and good communication deprived them of their right to be equally involved in the end of their loved one’s life.

More Time: cultural competence and person-centred dementia care in community settings

This performance is based on testimonials of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic professionals and carers. It highlights the importance of culturally appropriate care and the ways that institutionalised task-orientated cultures and punishing workloads contribute to poor care and elderly neglect.

Back In The Closet: homophobia, human rights and organisational cultures of dementia care

This performance is based on testimonials of LBGTQI+ professionals, carers and people with dementia. It highlights the impact of heteronormative language on the quality of life and human rights of LGBTQI+ people with dementia and their partners in later life.

This film is part of a project on ‘Dementia care experiences: understanding diversity, implementing equality, creating shared learning’ which was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales – Enhancing Civic Mission and Community Engagement & the National Institute for Health Research NIHR HS&DR researcher led funding stream (project number 15/136/67).

These films aim to improve dementia care through the use of the arts. We’d love to hear your thoughts about these films and whether there has been any impact as a result of people viewing them. Your feedback is very important to us. It will help shape the direction of our engagement with theatre and film and its applications to health research. Please send your comments to Sofia at