Saturday, November 22, 2008

Storytelling in Long Term Care Facilities

This article really resonated with me. I truly believe in the value of storytelling and if stories carried actual physical weight, I would weigh a lot more than I did when I first started in nursing because of the patients' stories I carry with me.

This article from Provider Magazine, Creative Tasks Spark Imagination, outlines three techniques used in a long term care facility for residents along the continuum of memory impairments (from none to late-stage Alzheimer's or dementia). The first technique is based on Timeslips, which promotes social interaction. It helps to reduce the isolation that many persons with dementia may experience.

The second technique involves storyboarding which can be done by the resident or by the family, if the resident is not able to participate. Upon completion of the storyboard, a celebration is held to celebrate the individual's life.

In the third technique, individuals write their life stories in a 6-10 week storytelling workshop.

What I found most satisfying are the ending paragraphs:

"Many facilities have implemented these activities for their residents, and in some cases, reported increased wellbeing and cognitive functioning among participating residents. Implementing these creativity tools supports, encourages, and inspires residents, their families, and staff.

"These stories touch people in remarkable ways, no matter what age or ability."

I also found storyboarding for personal growth an interesting topic in itself. 37 Days discusses her experiences with storyboarding and this writer demonstrates how it can be done:

Storyboard Your Life

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