Maybelle Carter Blog

Nashville Senior care volunteer

For seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, the pressure to remember things can be one of the greatest sources of stress. What can senior loved ones do to reduce this stress? Storytelling! Storytelling and Narrative therapy can be a process for replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.

How does it work?

Participants start with a silly photo and are guided through a process of creating a story about what is shown in the picture they’re given. This form of cognitive and behavioral therapy is thought to delay the progression of dementia. The process encourages communication with fellow residents, caregivers and family members.

“Laughter is contagious. Laughter is healing. And laughter can brighten the lives of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s,” said Joyce Vanderpool, one of the founders of The Creative Story Project. An Intergenerational Story Power program that pairs students in schools or youth organizations with residents of the senior community.

"We are able to take them into a care facility where they work with primarily dementia residents,” Vanderpool said. “It is a great experience for both the students and the residents. Sessions always include lots of laughter, hugs and invitations to return. And the students do return to visit their new friends and bring them love and hugs - and an enthusiasm for life that youth can provide.”

Written by: Meghan O’Dea

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