The Storycare Project: Enriching Healthcare for Seniors through the Use of Storytelling

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Melissa Tafler, Arts and Health Program Coordinator

Project Title: The Storycare Project: Enriching healthcare for seniors through the use of storytelling

What is the issue?

Seniors living in long-term care can experience feelings of isolation and loneliness.  Research shows that sharing stories validates their lived experiences, builds relationships with care providers, and improves their health outcomes.

What did we do?

We created an e-learning module called the Storycare Project to help healthcare professionals, volunteers, and family members develop storytelling skills. Our goals were to increase awareness and empathy, build active listening skills, and create authentic relationships between care providers and residents. We also developed facilitation guides for managers to promote dialogue and reflection after viewing the content, and to help staff apply the skills.

What did we find?

Participants enjoyed using the module and learning how to use and improve their storytelling skills. They appreciated the open-ended nature of the activities and the opportunities for self-reflection. We plan to build an extensive community of interest and practice around storytelling.