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TimeSlips – A New Activity for Caregiving Families | Keystone Elder Law – Mechanicsburg, PA

‘TimeSlips” was the topic of a presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association’s recent Early Stage Symposium.  If you are like me, TimeSlips suggests accounting for one’s time; and the privilege of hearing a medical student talk about that did not excite me.  But I was surprised and delighted to learn a whole new meaning of TimeSlips!
As defined on their website, “TimeSlips is an improvisational storytelling method that replaces the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.” According to Hershey Medical student Winona Houser, who tested TimeSlips in a Lancaster County secured dementia facility, patients whose behaviors were monitored by CareTracker systems four months before and four months after participating in TimeSlips experienced some improvement in general behavior.  Therefore, TimeSlips can be considered to be both a recreational and therapeutic activity for dementia patients.  Although TimeSlips was conceived as an activity for a groups of 10 to 15 dementia patients, Ms. Houser believes that it could also work as an activity for an inter-generational caregiving family and their loved one(s) with dementia.
Here’s what is needed, and how TimeSlips works.  The focal point of the exercise is an interesting photograph– something that has people, maybe animals, and some activity that is not exactly defined.  Someone is needed to facilitate participation by asking the participants to share ideas of what they believe is happening in the photo, and someone else needs to write down what is said by the participants, preferably on tear sheets which can be seen by all.  After a period of time, the summary of the participants’ observations and ideas is read back to them as a story that they have construed together.  The interactivity of the process is a bit like a game of charades, and the process of telling the story can have similar results as a game from Mad Libs, although a silly story is not necessarily the intent.
Keystone is considering how we might offer TimeSlips and other activities for our caregivers and clients. Please let us know if you are interested!