An enjoyable way for care partners to engage is through the use of creative storytelling. Creative storytelling has no rules, no structure, it is just the use our imaginations. Stories connect generations, help us explain our life history and pass values across time.
In 1998, Anne Bastings Ph. D. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, developed a program called TimeSlips. This program revealed the power of improvisation with people with memory loss. She discovered that when people feel safe to experiment with communication, they can express themselves in new ways and connect with each other and not be so isolated.
I was trained by Anne, in 2000 to be a facilitator of TimeSlips. In my 16 years as a facilitator I have been blessed to see miracles happen before my eyes. Participants who never engaged in conversation would contribute to the developing stories, with bright eyes, smiles and laughter. TimeSlips can be done one on one (grandchildren love to participate) or in a group. The TimeSlips storytelling method is a simple one, a photograph, greeting card or magazine picture (With some detail, can be black and white or colored picture) is used to center the their creative and imaginative story around. Each participant gets a copy of the image to look at, then a series of open ended questions are presented.
What should we call this Character/s?
Are there any others around this characters, not seen in the picture?
Do they have a family?
How old might they be?
What are they wearing?
What colors you see? Smells?
What are they going to do next?
Each participant is told there is no right or wrong answer and that they are to use their imaginations to give answers. It is delightful to see their answers unfold and a story develop. All responses are recorded and the story is created. To find out more information on TimeSlips please visit this website: www.timeslips.org
You can also add your stories to the online website.