STORYTELLING AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION METHODS IN DEMENTIA CARE: TOOLKIT FOR FAMILY MEMBERS
Intellectual Output three: Toolkit for family members to
improve communication with people with dementia through
storytelling and alternative communication methods
Project title: Using drama and storytelling in dementia care
KA2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good
KA204: Strategic partnership for Adult Education Agreement
The toolkit was prepared by Romanian Alzheimer Society
in coordination with the ERASMUS + partners:
We are very excited to share with you the third result of the project, our toolkit for family members “Storytelling and alternative communication methods in dementia care”. The toolkit is freely available here:EN
This toolkit aims to enhance the communication skills of family members of people with dementia through the use of tools derived from storytelling approaches as well as alternative communication methods. The toolkit includes a brief presentation of the most frequent situations where communication problems may arise, it describes how storytelling and alternative communication methods can be used in these situations and it provides step by step instruction for activities that family members can do together with the person with dementia in order to train their communication skills.
The toolkit consists of two parts.
PART 1 “Reflect and understand” gives an overview of the communication challenges that family members might encounter when caring for a person with dementia and introduces a few alternative communication methods and approaches to address these difficulties. It is designed for the family members to serve as a tool to facilitate self-reflection and increase understanding of current communication practices.
PART 2 “Activities for practice” consists of seven activities with detailed
step by step instructions, which we named “adventures”, aimed to be
practiced by the family members together with the person with dementia.
The toolkit has been created as part of a wider project, funded by ERASMUS+2018, that aims to develop and evaluate a training program and toolkit to support the use of creative drama and storytelling amongst dementia practitioners and informal care partners such as family members.
The project has four main objectives:
- Improving health and social care professionals’competence when working with people with dementia through the development of an educational program that uses creative drama and storytelling.
- Enhancing the communication skills of family members of people with dementia through the use of alternative communication method and storytelling.
- Enriching people’s with dementia well-being through the upskilling of health and social care professionals and informal care partners.
- Raising public awareness of dementia and highlighting the benefits of creative initiatives for supporting the global policy agenda of building dementia-friendly communities. To achieve these objectives, the project will deliver four intellectual outputs (IOs), of which this toolkit represents the third.
The other IOs are:
• IO1: Creative arts and storytelling use use for people with dementia and their family members in UK, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Ireland (The booklet is freely available here);
• IO2: Creative drama and storytelling aimed at health and social care
professionals to improve the well-being of people with Dementia (The handbook is freely available here);
• IO4: Policy document advocating the use of creative initiatives in dementia
care and supporting the development of dementia-friendly communities.
We hope this toolkit will support family members to re-connect with their loved ones, regardless of the stage of dementia journey may be at.
The present material was done with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.
The content reflects the views only of the authors, and the National Agency and the European Commission
cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.