Theater Veder produces and performs theatre in living rooms of care homes as well as in traditional theatre settings. These performances are designed for people living with dementia. The goal of these interactive performances is to establish reciprocal contact and invite people to engage through theatre, music and poetry.
Care workers or volunteers in nursing homes who observe the effects of the Veder Method in performances often indicate they would like to be able to use the method in the same way the Veder actors can. Theatre Veder has developed a training programme for this purpose, and for using elements of the method in everyday care.
For care institutions
Since 2006 Veder has introduced the Veder Method as an activity in over 500 locations of care institutions through performances and training. By implementing the Veder Method, care organizations show that they highly prioritize the well-being of the people they care for. The Veder Method can be brought into institutions in two different ways: as an activity or as a contact method in everyday care.
The Veder Method as activity
We have developed a professional training and coaching programme for caregivers. This is an implementation process in which health care professionals learn to apply the Veder Method and perform their own living room performances. They follow a programme of watching living room performances by Veder actors, participating in training and receiving coaching on the job when they start performing themselves. Once they have successfully completed the course they receive a Veder certificate and are able to perform living room performances using the Veder Method in their organization.
The Veder Method in everyday care
Theatre Veder has developed a different training programme aimed at using elements from the Veder Method into everyday care. A person living with dementia often suffers from apathy. This can make communicating hard and make basic care tasks strenuous and time-consuming. The goal of this training is to show that seemingly routine everyday care tasks can be made into special moments of contact between caregivers and those being cared for. For instance, reciting a poem when taking someone to bed or singing a song together when getting dressed. Applying the Veder Method works two ways: it improves the well-being of residents and also ensures caregivers experience more joy in their working day. Besides this, Veder believes that by investing time in establishing contact, professionals will be able to carry out their work more efficiently and thus eventually save time.
The Veder Method international
Theatre Veder started pilots in Curaçao, Saint Martin and Surinam. Together with the Flemish branche organisation for amateur theatre Open Doek, Theater Veder made a start with training amateur actors in the Veder Method. Please watch this video to see the work of Theater Veder in Surinam.
À la carte theatre
Finally, Theatre Veder offers the option of ordering à la carte theatre. Living room performances, traditional theatre performances or small presentations can all be made-to-measure. These can be used when institutions want certain topics or care issues addressed with their employees, or when they simply have something to celebrate and want to treat their residents to an evening at the theatre. In all these performances the Veder Method will be used.
Professional and voluntary caregivers do not need to be part of a care institution to learn about the Veder Method. They can follow a one day open course at Theatre Veder’s office in Amsterdam and be introduced to the basic principles of the Veder Method. They also get to experience what it is like to perform in a living room performance. When they decide they want to pursue using the Veder Method, they can opt to enrol for more training and coaching and become certified in using the Veder Method. Once participants have completed this course of training, Theatre Veder also offers workshops on for instance character development, singing and performance making to ensure caregivers can keep growing and learning.
Theatre Veder regularly organizes symposia on the topic of the arts and contact in dementia care. At these symposia there are performances, guest speakers, workshops and information stands. Theatre Veder organizes open symposia, but also symposia for employees of care organizations.