Following the success of our ‘The Power of Stories’ project, which took storytelling into care homes and trained staff in techniques of storytelling, it’s been wonderful to hear about a developing legacy from the project.
Karen Faver from West View care home has written and illustrated her first book, which she designed especially for use in the care home!
Karen undertook the training and mentoring offered by ‘The Power of Stories’ project and by the time it ended she was using storytelling regularly with residents at West View. Inspired by the impact this was having, Karen combined her 21 years experience of working in care with both her love of drawing and her wire-haired fox terrier Herb – and ‘Herb’s Perfect Bone’ was born.
The book tells the story of Herb as he travels around the world in search of his perfect bone. Discussing the story and seeing iconic images from the different countries Herb visits has given residents the opportunity to tell stories of their own – where they have been and what they got up to.
Residents love it, as do their families and other staff in the home, as it helps enable recall and gives them something to talk about.
“It’s about going on a journey with them, bringing back memories that have been long forgotten – it’s all positive!” says Karen; “and the repetition engages people – residents pick the words up and say them with me as we go through the book.”
Karen is delighted with the impact ‘The Power of Stories’ has had on her own life too.
“Doing the storytelling project was quite out of my comfort zone and I didn’t know if I would be able to carry on with it, but with the help and support from the project I began to grow in confidence. Because I enjoyed drawing I was encouraged to do a storyboard – then I took things further and decided to do a book that I thought would be good with people with dementia.”
Plans are already underway for the next story, with residents fully involved and eager to think up new adventures for Herb.