Founded in 2017, Write Here Write Now is an organisation offering creative writing/storytelling/poetry writing sessions for older people and people with dementia in Liverpool and the surrounding areas.
Unlike many activities for older people, which are based on reminiscence of the past and/or them being passive consumers, these sessions are aimed at meeting residents where they are right now (hence the name of the company!), helping them to enjoy the present, and allowing them to create something new. While reminiscence will inevitably occur with many of the activities (which is great!) this is not the aim of the session.
I strongly believe that older people, including those with dementia, have the capacity and right to learn new things, engage with the world around them, be creative, and have a meaningful and vibrant present and future – not just a significant past. This belief is at the heart of the organisation, and of the services I provide.
Benefits of creative writing for those with dementia
Above anything else, my sessions aim to be fun and provide enjoyment and pleasure to those who take part in them! Beyond that, there are many benefits of creativity for older people and those with dementia. Here are just a few of them …
- Creative writing provides an outlet for self expression for those who may struggle to communicate or be listened to, as well as an opportunity to feel valued for their contribution and experience a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
- The sessions help participants to build social bonds and stay mentally active, both of which can help slow down the progression of dementia as well as increase enjoyment of life.
- Creative activities give older people more to talk about and share with their families, friends and visitors.
- They open up new life roles – such as writer, poet or storyteller – to those who have lost many of their former roles and occupations.
- According to the Baring Foundation, storytelling can “enhance a sense of personal identity as well as reveal new aspects of the life of a resident and hence help
staff relate better to them”.
- TimeSlips sessions have been found to have specific benefits for care home residents, including “increased creativity, improved quality of life, positively altered behavior, and involvement in meaningful activity.”
- Studies have shown that participating in arts activities can improve physical health (including cardiovascular function and breath control) and mental wellbeing (including increased confidence, self esteem and dignity, and decreased depression and anxiety).
What do the sessions involve?
WHWN sessions are a combination of games, creative writing and sensory activities, including music, art and the use of props.
The creative writing element may include poetry, TimeSlips storytelling, therapeutic writing or other methods of story writing, depending on the needs, abilities and interests of the group or individual.
I work with people in all stages of dementia, and can offer both group or one-to-one sessions. Please click here to find out more about the services I provide.