Alzheimer’s and Storytelling

Dementia Education and Care: Storytelling

When it comes to therapeutic activities for individuals with Alzheimers disease, there are a number of different activities that have been shown to help lessen the severity of some of the side effects of dementia and Alzheimers disease. One of the most creative therapeutic tool for individuals with Alzheimers disease is storytelling, which many have found to be a therapeutic activity for individuals with Alzheimers disease. Storytelling is often being used in adult day programs and group settings and many caregivers and family members are even using storytelling in their homes as well.

This is because storytelling can spark memories, promote positives feelings and encourage verbalization with the individual with dementia. Storytelling is also a great way to build a bond and encourage communication between the individual with dementia and the caregiver. Here are some tips to consider when it comes to creative storytelling.

  • Always start your storytelling in the right environment. Make sure you are in a comfortable setting and that you have eliminated any background noise so that the individual with dementia can easily focus on the story telling.
  • Try to avoid participating in storytelling in the later afternoon or evening, especially if your loved one is prone to sundowning, so they dont get agitated during the storytelling.
  • Always talk in a calm and reassuring voice and try to maintain eye contract whenever possible.
  • Ask questions during the storytelling. Dont just ask yes or no questions but direct questions that they will need to answer in order to stay engaged, such as where is this person going? or what do you think will happen? Remember there are no wrong answers during storytelling.
  • Dont give up on storytelling, your loved one may not respond positively at first and it can take some time for them to open up to storytelling time.
  • Consider integrating music into storytelling time.
  • Dont worry about sticking to a set beginning, middle, end when storytelling. Experiment with different approaches until you find one that your loved one enjoys. You may want to try more creative storytelling approaches or storytelling with pictures until you find something that appeals to your loved one.

 

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