“Just Join Them”: Improv and Dementia Care

Candace L. Kemp, Jennifer Craft Morgan, Alexis A. Bender, Andrea M. Hill, Emerald Anglin, Elisabeth O. Burgess, Fayron Epps, Molly M. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Improvisational (improv) theatre skill development holds promise for improving the dementia capability of care partners. In this report, we present analysis of data from an ongoing study on meaningful engagement and quality of life among assisted living (AL) residents with dementia. Using ethnographic methods, we collected data from persons with dementia (n = 59) and their care partners (n = 165) in six diverse AL communities each studied for one year. Building cumulatively on past work and existing literature, we demonstrate the potential benefits of training care partners to use improv skills. We discuss implications, including the need for intervention research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • caregiving
  • dementia
  • improvisational theatre skills
  • person-centered care
  • qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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