Thursday, May 01, 2008

WAPL - Imagine That: Intergenerational Storytelling with People with Dementia

This session, presented by Joan Williamson, certified TimeSlips trainer, offered a fascinating and moving program for people with memory loss. The participants, though relatively few, were engaged and interested, though there are open questions about the relevance and appropriateness of the program for libraries.

TimeSlips, developed through the UWM Center on Age and Community, is a method for dementia patients to exercise creativity and express their personality via shared storytelling. It requires a number of staff, including a trained facilitator, a recorder and several people to echo statements made by participants.

To date, there are no known instances of libraries working with this program. Audience members and the presenter discussed ways in which libraries could participate. Idea included:
  • host a training workshop for local treatment facilities
  • in partnership with a trainer and volunteers, host a program series for patients and families, targetting those patients still living in the home
  • working with schools to get students to display artistic interpretations of creative stories developed by patients, and hosting an art exhibit at the library
  • other creative collaborations with agencies serving aging populations and community based residential facilities

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