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National Storytelling Week - ‘Telling Stories - All About Me’

As National Storytelling Week heads into its 14th year, many UK care homes, day centres and community groups will become part of the celebration; prompting, sharing and enjoying stories.

Story telling is all around us. Remember story time at school; captivated by the teacher’s tales? Storytelling can be part of person centred care provision, enjoyed at home in community centres, hospitals or residential care and dementia homes - in groups or one-to-one, with activity coordinators, carers and families.

So what better than to use storytelling as a tool to engage with elderly or people living with dementia. For people living with dementia, storytelling is one of the most powerful and effective. Studies have shown that storytelling can help to improve mood, calm agitations and prompt long term memory.

So how do we do this? The Happy Days approach isn’t really about everyone sitting, listening to someone read a story [even though this may be enjoyable], it’s more about sharing experiences, events and information. Dementia Workshop’s range of reminiscence resources can prompt the long term memory, stimulate reminiscence and help a person tell their life’s stories in their own way.

A person living with dementia may be unable to recall personal stories unaided. Gillian Hesketh of Happy Days Dementia Workshop has come up with a unique collection of Memory Joggers to prompt people’s stories: All About Me© [for care homes], Past-Present-Future© [home care] and Personal Memory Jogger © [families].

To care for a person, you need to know the person. Knowing a person’s stories, interests, likes and dislikes and having this information at hand can help carers build positive relationships and ensure that a person’s social care is enriched and fulfilled on a day to day basis.

The Memory Jogger range has been carefully designed with colourful and interesting themed response pages to help care teams and families gain further insight into a person’s social history. Each page covers a special topic , for example: All About Me - Family & Friends - Memory Lane - School Days - Places I’ve Visited - Favourites …

Recollections, photographs or tickets from special occasions from a person’s home or working life, hobbies, travel, special moments can be gathered at any time and added to the Memory Jogger to create a beautiful reference resource, a wealth of knowledge for carers and a lovely keepsake.

‘Top Tip’ from Gillian … Check with the person and allow the Memory Jogger to be on view in the person’s room so families, carers and activity coordinators can add information or use the stories to re-visit events, reminisce, share and enjoy.

Happy Days Dementia Workshop & Nostalgic Design has also developed a range of themed memory boxes, conversation prompts, meaningful wall art and more to help activity coordinators and carers engage and enrich the lives of the people they are caring for.

See Happy Days Dementia Workshop / Shop online at:

Contact Gillian for information or catalogue:

Gillian Hesketh MA - Happy Days Dementia Workshop & Nostalgic Design

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