The Journal of Dementia Care 2021; 29: 15–17
The Covid pandemic has brought into stark relief underlying vulnerabilities and inequalities in social welfare in the UK. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the social care sector, which, unlike the NHS, is not free at point of use. An article was published about Alexander Technique teaching in the March/April 2021 issue of the Journal of Dementia Care, a UK-based journal read primarily by people employed in the elderly and dementia care sector. The article is based on a small pilot study conducted by Alexander teacher and researcher, Charlotte Woods in her mother’s care home in 2018. At the time of writing, Covid restrictions on access to care homes were beginning to ease. The article makes the case for using Alexander teaching to support the wellbeing of residents and carers in residential elderly and dementia care.
Four volunteers from a care home were recruited, two residents and two care workers. The volunteers attended between 11 and 14 Alexander lessons over a 4–6 week period. Each lesson lasted 10–40 minutes and consisted of combined hands-on and verbal guidance from the author, a STAT-registered teacher. The study illustrates the types of changes observed in both carers and residents after Alexander lessons, and sets out ways in which the Alexander Technique is a particularly promising intervention for both groups. In particular, positive changes were reported in pain, mobility, mood and motivation, and social interaction. Further research is warranted on the potential for Alexander teaching in the care home setting.
View video interviews with the researcher who conducted the pilot study.