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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Liz Lewis, R.N. and Mary Emma Allen at Alzheimer's Notes - RE: Dementia Project

There is a team written blog at by Liz Lewis, R.N. and Mary Emma Allen. A recent post tells about a creative writing project designed to allow people with dementia living in residential assisted care homes "to have their stories and words seen and heard." The project was designed by a writer in residence, Anthea McKinley for the Glasgow City Council. The project is called "In Our Own Words" and it enables people with dementia to be "recognized as authors in their own right".

I went to the website for the project and I loved the insightful writing by the authors.

One of the writers with dementia listed on the website, Norma Smith, writes about "Being in a Book" and says the following.

"It's very exciting how you can find words in your brain. How words turn into sentences. Suddenly you find you have a wee masterpiece. It goes to the printing press..."

Alex Wallace writes about the experience and says the following.

"I think when you're living like we do, you need someone else outside of your family to make you feel part of a whole, not just part of a wee bit."

Not just caregivers, but people everywhere can understand better what it feels like to experience life from these authors points of view by reading some of their material.

I have been taking a Life Story Writing class by an instructor who also teaches it at assisted care facilities, so finding this blog post and the website was especially interesting.

When I've been caregiving for people with Alzheimer's or Dementia I like to ask questions about the people's lives. If one moment their memory about this morning's events is not very good, in the next moment they might be telling me about things that happened many years ago.

I think enabling people with Alzheimer's and Dementia to tell their stories, and to help trigger their memories with "memory joggers" such as photos, scrapbooks and so on makes their lives more full and relieves some of their isolation.

1 comment:

Mary Emma Allen said...

Thanks, Kristi, for mentioning Alzheimer's Notes. I'm pleased our post inspired you.