"I'm a storyteller!": Exploring the benefits of TimeSlips creative expression program at a nursing home

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2014 Dec;29(8):678-84. doi: 10.1177/1533317514539725. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Background: TimeSlips creative storytelling program is beneficial for persons with dementia and caregivers, but no studies have qualitatively explored participant experience.

Methods: Ten residents in a skilled nursing care unit participated in 2-hour-long TimeSlips sessions per week, for 6 weeks. Semistructured interviews of participants and staff members were conducted to elicit perceptions of TimeSlips. Thematic analysis was used to evaluate qualitative data.

Results: There were specific benefits for residents (increased creativity, improved quality of life, positively altered behavior, and involvement in meaningful activity), staff members (learning new practices, developing a deeper understanding of residents, involvement in meaningful activity, and thinking creatively around programmatic challenges), and the nursing home community (nurturing relationships and improved atmosphere).

Conclusion: Involvement in TimeSlips can engender benefits for residents, staff, and nursing home communities. Future research is needed to quantitatively assess whether the benefits noted in this study can longitudinally improve quality and lower cost of long-term care.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; caregiving; creativity arts; dementia; long-term care; medical anthropology; medical humanities; psychosocial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Creativity*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Dementia / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Narration*
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life*