'It brings it all back, all those good times; it makes me go close to tears'. Creating digital personalised stories with people who have dementia

Valerie Critten, Natalia Kucirkova
2017 Dementia  
It brings it all back, all those good times; it makes me go close to tears.' Creating digital personalised stories with people who have dementia Abstract The purpose of these three case studies was to analyse and theoretically explain the contribution of digital multimedia personalisation to stimulate and share long-term memories of people who live with mild to moderate dementia. We investigated how the use of a freely available iPad app can, in a supporting context, facilitate the creation of
more » ... ersonalised multimedia stories, including the participants' audio recordings, texts and photos of items, places or people important to them. Three people who were recruited from a club for people living with dementia created personalised multimedia stories using their own photographs and/or pictures downloaded from the internet, with written captions and audio-recorded voiceovers. Our analysis focuses on the themes and symbols across the three final stories of the participants and the process of creating stories with the Our Story iPad app. The discussion concerns the theoretical value of multimedia and the practical value of storymaking apps for people with dementia. We conclude that the multimedia features available with the Our Story app offer a unique opportunity for people living with dementia to store, access and generate memories, capture them in writing and audio; and the ability to continue adding to the original stories. In August 2016, the UK's Department of Health, and leading dementia charities-Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Society-launched a new platform "Dementia Citizens", which aims to 'help people with dementia and those who care for them, using apps on smartphones and tablets'. This objective builds on reminiscence therapy research and the activity of compiling personal pictures to capture and elicit memories in people with dementia, both of which have been part of sensitive dementia care services for many years. The upsurge of interest in the potential of apps to facilitate the creation of "books of life" or "personal stories", has led us to formally evaluate the role of the story-and book-making app Our Story for people living with dementia. In this article, we report a summary of three case studies of people living with dementia, who created or co-created their own digital personal books using the freely available iPad app called Our Story. We were interested in how the use of current, widely available and affordable digital technologies might facilitate the elicitation and sharing of special memories and the role of personalisation and multimedia in this process. Delimitation of terms Several terms are used in the literature to refer to the artefacts that contain personal stories and are created by, or with, people living with dementia, including books of life, personal stories or life history books. We use the word 'story' when referring to the digital version of participants' stories and 'book' when referring to the printed version of their oral or digital stories. The stories reported in our study are all personal or personalised, and multimedia. Personalisation Personalisation can refer to a number of resources and practices but in this case, it refers to the personal nature of the photographs and the book-making activity with people
doi:10.1177/1471301217691162 pmid:28161989 fatcat:6woga54eazbs3bmvobfebmxn7a