Welcome back to the everyStory blog!
This November, along with celebrating Thanksgiving and commemorating our nation’s veterans, everyStory would like to spread the word about National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the fatal disease is the only one among the top 10 in America, which at present has no known cure, no means of counteraction, and no way to prolong its onset (Source: www.alz.org).
For those suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory loss often manifests as difficulty recalling special moments from the past, and many in advanced stages of the disease are not able to recognize their loved ones. Alzheimer’s patients also typically experience a loss of independence in their daily lives, as they discover they are no longer able to perform simple day-to-day tasks that were once second nature to them, such as bathing, getting dressed, or navigating one’s way around the kitchen. This trying process is not only frustrating, but also emotionally painful for both patients and their loved ones or caretakers.
Often times the holidays can amplify the stressors of memory loss, as they are filled with family get-togethers and nostalgia. Instead, everyStory encourages you to view the holidays as an opportunity to fortify your connection with your loved ones through interactive storytelling; integrate the everyStory app into your holiday traditions by using it as an inclusive and therapeutic method of assisting with the Alzheimer’s coping process. According to health care professionals, not only does storytelling encourage verbal communication, it also builds self-esteem (Source: http://www.alzfdn.org/EducationandCare/storytelling.html).
Here are some helpful ways you can incorporate interactive storytelling into your family holiday traditions, making it more enjoyable for everyone:
- Shift the focus from recalling old memories to making new ones – this will create a participatory environment that allows the whole family to take part in the fun.
- Use holiday-themed images and sensory triggers (taste, smell, etc.) to inspire creative narratives fitting of the season.
- For Alzheimer’s patients, ask open-ended questions that encourage description – this takes the pressure off of a wrong or right “Yes” or “No” answer.
- Play your loved one’s favorite holiday music and see what kind of reaction it evokes. Sounds are an especially conducive tool for recalling feelings and emotions, rather than words—ideal for helping those struggling with verbal articulation
- Use our app’s voice-over feature to record anecdotes and capture candid moments, while creating new memories as a family!
- Revisit your stories on our cloud-based app whenever you want—playback those special moments for your loved ones who need a little assistance remembering the details.
Give your loved ones the gift of warm, heartfelt memories with everyStory this holiday season! Yes, our app is an excellent and therapeutic tool for coping with memory loss, but it’s also a wonderful way to reconnect with those suffering and to celebrate family in a fun and interactive way.