Dancing old people living with dementia
Project Type - Pilot Projects

Stories in the Moment: Dance Program for People Living with Dementia

Building an online creative community to support the wellbeing of people living with dementia
Northern America


Stories in the Moment will build an online creative community through dance, supporting the wellbeing of people living with dementia. One third of older adults with cognitive impairment in the United States live alone and lack appropriate services to support independent living. Aside from placing them at higher levels of precarity, this exposes them to the detrimental effects of isolation. Dance, which promotes community engagement coupled with physical fitness, is the highest preferred physical activity among diverse urban community residing older adults.

Project Details

A growing body of evidence illustrates the protective effects of dance on brain health among older adults: engaging motor function, supporting wellbeing, offsetting depression, and offering ameliorative cognitive effects. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the feasibility and benefit of virtual social engagement programs for older adults and persons living with dementia (PLWD), offering a support network from the comfort of home. The Stories in the Moment-Pilot (SIM-Pilot) Program intends to build an online creative community through dance, supporting the wellbeing of community-dwelling PLWD. SIM program is an evidence-informed virtual program for PLWD, that uses dance, movement, and narrative building to develop and enhance modes of expression and communication. Building on a successful prototype of SIA delivered 2020-2021, the SIM-Pilot Project will maximize impact by leveraging partnerships with 3 organizations serving diverse, under-represented communities of PLWD in the US. The SIM-Pilot intends to deliver brain health education and virtual SIM classes and utilize action research methods to inform further optimization and scalability of this program. In so doing, the SIM-Pilot hopes to establish online hubs and networks of creative community, promoting brain health education, social engagement, physical activity, and creativity for diverse PLWD in the US and beyond.

Opportunity to Participate

Are you a person who lives with dementia or is caring for someone with dementia? You are invited to join in a dance program for people living with dementia. The program will meet online for 1 hour, once a week for 12 weeks. Learn more.

Invitation to Join Stories in the Moment research study