National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
Creating and Telling Stories to Commemorate National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, each November, reminds us of the seniors who live with the disease and their families who provide ongoing caregiving as the disease progresses. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the most common form of dementia diagnosis. Back in 1983, when the month was first designated for Alzheimer’s Disease by President Reagan, there were only 2 million Americans with the disease – today there are 5 million.
Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
It’s normal to become more forgetful with age. Your senior loved one may misplace their keys or has trouble recalling a phone number. Could that be the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease? If you are curious about Alzheimer’s Disease or looking for more details – we have a variety of resources within this article.
Life Stories Continue Despite Alzheimer’s Disease
In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we are doing our part at Elmcroft communities to promote the wellbeing of each resident we serve. At Elmcroft, we believe each of our residents living with us in our Chronicles Memory Program can continue to write their life story, despite the changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The story can continue and does. As part of our Chronicles Memory Care Program, we celebrate who each resident is where they are in their story, where they were and who they can still be.
StoryTellers inspired by TimeSlips
TimeSlips is an award-winning, international non-profit that brings meaning and purpose to late life by inspiring a dynamic of respect and wonder between older people and those who care for them. Founded by MacArthur “Genius” Award winner Anne Basting, TimeSlips provides inspiring tools and resources to spark creative engagement regardless of physical or cognitive disabilities. We work toward a moment when creative engagement is simply standard practice in our care relationships.
Groups create stories based a picture they’re shown using the TimeSlips core values of:
- Saying “Yes, And”
- Asking Beautiful Questions
- Giving Proof of Listening
- Opening ourselves to Wonder
The Research Says…Numerous studies of the TimeSlips have been conducted and have shown a variety of positive impacts, including:
- improved quality of life/well-being for seniors;
- increased positive behaviors among seniors with dementia;
- improved relationships between staff and people with dementia;
- created positive experiences for volunteers and students;
- increased sense of community among family members who visit loved ones;
- increased awareness of dementia and improved attitudes toward people with dementia among the larger community through story and art sharing community activities.
So, How Does StoryTellers inspired by TimeSlips work?
A small group of residents are shown a photo. The Storytelling facilitator, a specially trained Chronicles memory care program staff member, guides creation of the story by asking open ended questions to help participants develop the story out. The facilitator captures all responses, creating the story and reads it back to the group.
The story is created and saved and can be captured in an audio, video, book or other format- including “producing” the story in a short skit or play.
This is an activity for seniors with memory loss that is also great as a shared experience with family members. Are you ready to share your stories? Call your local Elmcroft senior living community today to learn about how the Elmcroft Chronicles Memory Care program and inspired by can help you or your loved one continue to write your life story.
See Some of Our Stories!
We’ll be posting stories created at our communities during National Alzheimer’s Disease Month here.