Storytelling in Dementia Settings

Posted in Workshops and presentations, Bard Craft and the Use of Stories

‚ÄčIn 2003 I performed to an audience of younger people living with dementia,  I found that the storytellers use of emotional and sensory language, alongside the physicality of non verbal communication helped people to find connection even when verbal communication has become problematic. Since then I've performed in a number of venues and to a range of audiences living with dementia, whether having a dementia, living with someone who does, or working with people with a dementia, this includes telling stories in settings with people living with dementia including Nursing Homes, Memory Clubs, Dementia Cafes and 'carers groups.  As a storyteller I seek to take you out of yourself, to make connections elsewhere and elsewhen before bringing you back, though not necessarily unchanged from your journey. When telling to someone living with dementia I have to go out and find them, seeking to help them make connection with me, the story and themselves, if only for a brief time, before letting go again.  As a performer if I don't look for the audience to follow the story but simply journey then we both are enriched.  When telling to those living or working with people with a dementia storytelling can be about time out, or maybe ways of communicating or coping, it can be about exploring and releasing feelings or it can be about sharing in a community with other 'carers'.