Alzheimer’s, Storytelling and Purpose: Dementia Class Taps Into Imagination
Monday, we talked about social support groups for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, we’ll cover another type of group fighting isolation: a storytelling class.
In Cleveland, OH, the senior living community Westlake Village holds imagination exercises that both community residents and nonresidents attend, The Plain Dealer reports. The class, called TimeSlips, “aims to bring purpose and meaning into the lives of those living with memory loss,” the article says.
One of the leaders is Charlie Farrell, a retired vascular surgeon. In the class, participants imagine what’s going on in photos.
Farrell says TimeSlips, a creative storytelling project designed in 1998 by founder Anne Basting, is able to reach people in different ways — some respond to scents, others to visuals and some to the neighborhoods they imagine the photos were taken in.
“By getting them [away] from using their memory and focusing on imagination, we encourage them to use those parts of their brain that are still functional. They build a story built on their imaginations,” says Farrell.
You may also be interested in these previous OurParents posts about Alzheimer’s care:
- New Concepts in Memory Care: Pets, Kids and Clubs
- Man With Dementia Comes Out of His Shell After Switching Assisted-Living Communities
- Goodwill, Alzheimer’s Merge Adult Day-Cares, With Interesting Results
- iPods and Music Allows Alzheimer’s Patients To Better Interact With Others
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.