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Reflections on creativity
  1. Nigel Hartley, Director
  1. Creative Living Centre, St Christopher’s Hospice, London

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A care home doctor once said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when Jim stood up and sang the complete words of “When I grow too old to dream”. His dementia is so advanced we never seem to make contact with him anymore — but he didn’t just sing the song, he performed it directly to those of us in the room.’

I recently was talking with a nurse who had worked in a care home for a number of years. She felt that she had lost the motivation and enjoyment of being with her residents and that her frustration over them being unable or unwilling to communicate with her had reached breaking point. Working with people who find it difficult or impossible to communicate can be soul-destroying, demotivating and numbing. Caring day in, day out for such patients and residents takes its toll …

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