Stories to remember in Thessaloniki

It has been wonderful to bring together the team from Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Romania, and the UK (pictured) within the second transnational project meeting from Thessaloniki, 23-24 May 2019, to advance the Story2Remember ERASMUS+ project: Using drama and storytelling in dementia care.

Collaborative discussions brought about positive actions to set out our next steps including:

  • actions for disseminating Intellectual Output 1: the booklet.
  • agreement for our evaluation process and next steps of how we will capture the impact of the ‘Story2remember’ training program and workshops.
  • a timeline for piloting the ‘Story2remember’ training, delivery and data collection.
  • a more cohesive outlook and next steps on how we can take forward Intellectual Output 3: the toolkit.

We also discussed about the peer-review of the first Intellectual Output achieved, the booklet in creative drama and storytelling for practitioners and further impact in the field and future project activities. The booklet is aimed at dementia practitioners and provides an overview of how creative drama and storytelling are being used within the dementia care field and the benefits they may have for the well-being of people living with dementia and their care partners. It is wonderfully designed and will be key tool to bring about opportunities for our communities to engage with this exciting project. Thank you to everyone for their input and a special thank you to Dr. Ben Hicks for creating this dynamic and engaging booklet which personifies this project. We look forward to sharing the booklet with everyone.

We were honoured to have two enthusiastic and passionate guest speakers whose research focuses on using creative arts to enhance wellbeing for people living with dementia connected to Alzheimer Hellas. Firstly, Professor Magda Tsolaki talked about the benefits for people living with dementia linked to their research using non-pharmacological interventions involving creative arts and art therapy. Professor Tsolaki also spoke about the work they are doing to support carers and caregivers. Secondly, Elena Poptsi talked about the benefits associated with their research using dance and drama therapy for people living with dementia. It was enlightening to have an insight into the exciting research being carried out, which is positively changing the landscape for people living with dementia in Greece.

Gaiety School of Acting, the partner from Ireland shared the latest news on the ‘Story2remember’ creative drama and storytelling pilot workshops, which have initially shown to bring about a sense of inclusion for people living with dementia. We look forward to getting our creative hats on and immersing ourselves in the training from Dublin in August, where we will all receive the ‘Story2remember’ training in using creative drama and storytelling in dementia care.

By Danielle Wyman.