Extract from an article by Elly Park, Assistant Clinical Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, University of Alberta
I was sitting on the sofa across from Christine in her home. She offered me a cup of coffee. Each time I visited, she sat in the same spot — the place where she felt most comfortable and safe. She had shared stories from the past and decided to talk about the birth of her daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
For Christine, a research participant in a multi-sited study into dementia and digital storytelling, the fear dementia brings is that she won’t be able to be a part of special moments such as the celebration of birth.
As we worked together in Edmonton, creating a multimedia story from her memory, Christina started to remember new things. She became emotional when she talked about her daughters becoming mothers themselves. She pointed out that the project was so much more powerful than looking through a photo album. Like many participants, she said she recalled stories she hadn’t thought about for years.
As a post-doctoral fellow in occupational therapy under the supervision of Dr. Lili Liu, at the University of Alberta I worked with several participants in this study. Funded by the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, one of our goals was to investigate quality of life and how technology affects the lived experiences of persons with dementia.
SOURCE: Park, Elly. “Digital Life Stories Spark Joy in People with Dementia.” The Conversation 21 September, 2017.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia