Emerging research has demonstrated the potential for creative psychosocial initiatives to support well-being in people with dementia and their care partners. With funding from ERASMUS+ 2018, Bournemouth University were invited to become part of a European project team consisting of partners from Ireland, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria working in collaboration with people with dementia to develop a storytelling and creative drama programme that aimed to enhance communication within this population, and promote a positive sense of identity.
The projects first output 'The Booklet' was informed by a systematic scoping review of the literature, which identified key components that were essential to incorporate into the programme. This was then developed in collaboration with people with dementia, by the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin. This resulted in the Story 2 Remember (S2R) programme; consisting of six, one-hour workshops designed to support people with dementia to engage in a range of creative activities including story writing, poetry and creative drama.
The S2R programme was trialled across the European countries and was evaluated positively; providing people with a safe space to participate in fun, collaborative activities where they could express themselves both verbally and non-verbally, as well as the opportunity to lead conversations and contribute their opinions as ‘experts by experience.’ This data has been used to refine the initiative, and a is now available as a free online practitioners’ toolkit 'The Handbook'.
The team are currently working on a toolkit for family carers which offers examples of alternative communication methods to support carers and people living with dementia in improving communication. This will be available later in the year.
Please visit https://story2remember.eu/ for more information and updates on the project and to view our Booklet and Handbook.