Website Author (please excuse my lack of technical ability, hopefully I make up for it with enthusiasm)
Beverley Giles OAM
Mobile: + 61 409 844 814
Beverley, is an Independent Creative Ageing and Dementia Care Consultant, Educator.
For 27 years she has specialised in the art and skill of caring for people affected by dementia.
Beverley served as Senior Consultant to the National Learning Project for Community Care and Training Consultant to The National Residential Training Initiative.
She managed a dementia specific facility, has created learning modules for undergraduates, a Self Directed Learning Program for post graduates, and a wide variety of learning programs for students of every ability.
For 27 years she has presented dementia specific interactive education to people involved in the care of people with dementia, wherever they live, always focussing on the person behind the dementia and the need to know each person in the context of his or her whole life.
In 2009, after a life changing trip to the US, and particularly during a pre-arranged meeting with Laurel Humble, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Beverley first heard about the joy people with dementia can experience when participating in creative activities.
Whether it is using paint or clay, or engaging in dance, drama, music or song, when a person is given the opportunity to create something new, they discover, there is no wrong way just their way.
Improvements in cognition come about when a person is interacting socially, engaging in physical exercise, focussing on movement and generally using parts of their brain that still function very well. The brain responds by growing new cells and creating new connections.
Let’s act to dispel negative images and depressing statistics about dementia, and concentrate on what can be done to make life worth living for those affected by it.
Most people can reduce their risk but it won’t happen sitting about, the evidence for a healthy heart approach, especially exercise, is growing all the time.
A brisk walk of 45 minutes three times a week has been shown through neuro-imaging to increase the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain particularly concerned with memory.
Dance is best, it is physical, social and cognitive and when as with WaW Dance, creativity is involved (creating our own choreography), the brain shows the benefits.
In 2015, Beverley’s work with and for People affected by dementia, was recognised with an Order Of Australia Medal.
Her advice has been central to the design and set up, of state of the art care facilities for people living with dementia, throughout Queensland.
Beginning in September 2016, Beverley has presented free dementia awareness education in Charleville, Inglewood, Texas, North Stradbroke Island, Redlands, St George. Her purpose is to enable interested people to become Dementia Friends and subsequently act to make where they live, work and play dementia friendly places.
Above, images of the unveiling of the Texas Dementia Friendly Community sign and of one of two Dementia Friend Awareness Sessions held in the Town Hall and attended by more than 100 people.
Beverley’s approach to ageing and dementia is focussed around prevention if possible, or slowing the process down if diagnosis is confirmed. She believes in active resistance to decline. Recent advances in neuroscience, have reinforced her use it or lose it approach, with the exciting addition of use it and grow some more.
Above an exhausted but happy group of WaW Dance Dancers, celebrating the end of a wonderful day of dance, beginning with a two hour Jazz workshop, continuing through hour long classes in Bollywood, Latin American and Ballroom dancing. What a day we had at this inaugural Celebration of Dance event on North Stradbroke Island.
The same group gathered together as a Flash Mob, and performed an invigorating Jazz routine the next day at The Point Lookout Sunday Market.
Beverley is a passionate exponent of Creative Ageing, who enthusiastically practices what she preaches: “Use it or lose it, use it and grow some more.” Currently WaW Dancers are hard at work every weekend making lots of new connections as they prepare for a wonderful opportunity to join Expressions Dance Company in an exciting Natalie Weir production at Cremorne Theatre QPAC and Vulcana women’s Circus in a joint production at the Powerhouse.
Mobile: +61 409 726 568