Storytelling Helping Dementia Patients

Storytelling may not bring back memories for those suffering from dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, but it can help family members and caregivers reconnect with loved ones and be happier. One study published in the Gerontologist found that storytelling made people suffering from dementia more alert and engaged. Another study published in Nursing Research found that the control group who engaged in storytelling communicated better and were happier than the control group who did not.

The idea behind the storytelling therapy is to prompt the person’s imagination by showing them a picture of practically anything and get them to create a story about it. They don’t have to remember anything! Although there are specialists who do this therapy, anyone can do it.

On May 14, 2012 NPR’s Morning addition did an excellent story on the subject titled Alzheimer’s Patients Turn to Stories Instead of Memories. You may read, listen to it or download it here.

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