What we do
The primary focus of About Being is to offer patients a creative opportunity that supports their wellbeing and physical rehabilitation in hospital, but can also be a service in the community for people to access on discharge. Starting with weekly sessions on the Neurology Ward at Cumberland Infirmary, imagination and creativity are used to initiate and explore movement, complementing the patients’ rehabilitation while giving them a taste of the community sessions. Cumbria University hosts the community sessions, supported by dance, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students. Their knowledge and methods of observation have helped to inform what an interdisciplinary arts and health approach to patient recovery might look like. Participants who attend the sessions come via the hospital sessions, the Early Support Stroke Discharge Team and through existing stroke groups. Those who are further along their recovery journey are vital in giving hope to those recently discharged. Dance as a form of meaningful physical activity has proven beneficial in older adults with neurological conditions. However, a paucity of research exists into this innovative approach among stroke survivors in a community setting. About Being aims to build on this evidence. Through the very nature of dance being active, sociable and creative we hope the long-term evidence will demonstrate its role in expediting patients’ recovery and in turn alleviating pressure on primary and secondary healthcare. Our aim is for it to become commonplace to have dance for stroke patients in hospitals, feeding directly into community sessions.