David's cover image
David

David Symons

Year of Award: 2012 Award State: Victoria Arts - Performing > General
Health And Medicine > Aged Care
To study Elder Clown programs in aged care facilities - Netherlands, France, UK, Canada, USA

Clowns are a part of life. They have become an integral part of paediatric hospital life in over twenty countries since the Big Apple Circus launched its clown doctor program in 1986.

Clowns are now also part of the life of residential aged care facilities in a number of countries.

The number of people suffering dementia in Australia is increasing rapidly. The quality of life experienced by dementia sufferers living in aged care facilities is a critical health care issue.

Clowns have an important role to play in this area.

In Australia The Humour Foundation has been delivering Clown Doctor programs to paediatric hospitals, general hospitals and palliative care facilities since 1997.

More recently it turned its attention to residents in aged care facilities.

From 2009 to 2011 the Humour Foundation, in partnership with the University of NSW, conducted a NH&MRC funded study called SMILE – Sydney Multisite Intervention of LaughterBosses and ElderClowns: a randomized controlled trial of humour therapy in residential care.

The Humour Foundation now delivers Elder Clown and Laughter Boss programs to residential aged care facilities.

This 2012 Churchill Fellowship report details findings of:

  • Observation of elder clowns working in aged care facilities in Scotland, the Netherlands, Canada and the USA.
  • Interviews with artistic and training personnel of the elder clown programs, and with health care professionals working in host facilities. · Participation in the week-long Keeping the Creativity Alive conference in Edinburgh
  • Interview with Caroline Simonds, Artistic Director of Le Rire Médecin.

 Related Links

The work of the Elder Clowns of The Humour Foundation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOVqO_aavWs 

Elder Clowns and Laughter Bosses  – The Humour Foundation 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI7j6ackniM 

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