Senior Citizens have led active and vital lives. Sometimes impairments take away independence. Often they have feelings of isolation, loneliness and some may even have depression. When the group of us carried out a series of storytelling workshops, we did not “talk at” or talk to” them but we “talked with” them. Our stories, though about faraway places, were meaningful to them. We connected and it was a delight to get their active participation, their verbal responses to our questions, and most of all, their sincere applauds.
This is the first session in a series of 6 sessions that engages senior citizens with storytelling, both listening and creating as well as drawing rhymes, stories and songs from their younger days. After the 6 sessions, the seniors go through 4 sessions to prepare for a presentation of their special memories. Those presentations were given to the families of the senior citizens.
Session 2 starts with the group of senior citizens at St Luke's ElderCare Clementi Centre warming up with a cloth and ball game. Then they heard the story of the 12 Zodiac Animals, talked about different Chinese dialect terminology to remember the years and time. After that, they all retold the story together.
In session 3 we brought spices and old objects for a multi-sensory approach to help our seniors recall memories.
Session 4 coincides with Duan Wu Jie on 7th June 2019. The seniors talked about how they celebrated the festival and different types of dumplings.
The 5th session was on the 14th of June 2019. The seniors warmed up with interactive storytelling by Karen and Dolly. After that, the seniors themselves told a chain story. We tapped into their creativity and their excellent observation skills as they crafted an original story from a simple game of Story Cubes.
In the 6th session, participants enjoy the process of looking at pictures to get inspiration to create stories or as triggers to memories of their youth.