Alzheimer Chronicles, Inc., founded in 2012, is dedicated to giving voice to storytellers with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) by providing a platform for their creative fiction to be valued in public arenas.
Storytelling is universal.
Across cultures and time, storytelling is the manner in which people comprehend life. Definitions of creativity vary: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like; the ability to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, or interpretations; or the ability to use originality, progressiveness, or imagination.
Storytelling is the manner in which we comprehend life.
All meaningful communication is a form of storytelling, according to Walter Fisher, who introduced the narrative paradigm to communication theory. Storytelling, a creative form of art, is universal across cultures and time as the manner in which people comprehend life.
Alzheimer Chronicles, Inc. explores non-traditional storytelling with people who have ADRD and contributes to a small but growing effort to understand “memory loss as […] more than just memory loss” (Dr. Anne Basting, Founder of TimeSlips).
Storytelling comes naturally to people with ADRD.
Currently, there is a lot of research available about the debilitating affects of memory loss, but there is very little research available about retained abilities. It has been our experience that just as the blind significantly outperform the sighted in tactile experiments, there are some forms of creativity in storytelling in which people with ADRD may demonstrate more ability than their fully cognizant peers.
Explore this website to learn more about why the stories of people with ADRD are so important, not only to people with ADRD, but also to creative writers, song writers, painters, poets, film makers, animators, and others in the arts community, as well as cultural consumers of these art forms. In addition, a broad audience of creative thinkers in gerontology, linguistics, neurology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and of course, arts and humanities might, through exposure to the work of the storytellers, recognize the value of further research into creativity as a retained ability in people with ADRD.
Storytelling enables people with ADRD to communicate.
My grandfather experienced progressive dementia through his final years as a side effect of seizures. How helpful it would have been to me, one of his caregivers, if I had known then what I know now. I missed out on the opportunity to communicate with him, to understand how he perceived himself and the world around him. I didn’t know he was still there.