Storytelling and dementia
Everyone loves a good yarn. Stories are how we connect with one another and with the larger world. Sadly, when you lose your memory, you also lose that storytelling ability. TimeSlips® is changing that by replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine. Joanne Martin, TimeSlips® Facilitator, explains: “We start with a photograph or drawing. Then, through a series of open questions, we encourage participants to make up a story. And they do have vivid imaginations! Sometimes we have to slow them down. It’s always fun!”
Keri McGregor, Supervisor Activation/Coordinator Volunteer Services at Riverview Gardens says, “It’s amazing to see how engaged the residents are during our storytelling sessions, and how they build on each other’s ideas.”
Afterwards the stories, together with the images that inspired them, are printed in newsletters, or posted on the wall. Family members enjoy them too. “We’re planning to publish them and invite family members to a ‘Book Signing Event,” says Joanne. “Our storytellers love it when we tell them they’re going to become ‘published authors’!”
A TimeSlips® Story
Grandma is playing cards. She’s playing “45’s”. She has never played this game before but it looks like she knows what she’s doing. Her daughter is watching her. Some of Grandma’s children are in the room too, watching and saying what they think. “I think you’re cheating, Grandma!” the kids say.
Grandma replies, “I didn’t say that!” She’s angry because she has been falsely accused. She’s got nice hair. And she’s got an ace in her hand. Her daughter, Nicky, is smiling and laughing because she has put down this card and declared herself the winner. Grandma may be unhappy, and she may be disgusted, but she’s got a twinkle in her eye.
The kids are all rooting for Grandma, and they want her to win, even if she does cheat.
For more information visit Timeslips