Storytelling builds one-of-a-kind living legacy

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A Storycare Symposium at Baycrest attracted storytellers, healthcare clinicians, educators and older adults. Discussion centred on the idea of stories from different perspectives and explored the use of storytelling in working with older adults in the context of healthcare.

The symposium was organized in collaboration with Storytelling Toronto, a group that was founded by seven storytellers who wanted to encourage the renaissance of storytelling in modern society. Keynote speakers included Dr. Steve Sabat, a professor emeritus at Georgetown University, specializing in the subjective experience of having Alzheimer’s disease, and Mary Louise Chown, a Winnipeg-based storyteller who pioneered the use of storytelling in palliative care.

“We think Storycare is a concept that will spread, and that other institutions and healthcare settings will try to incorporate the arts, particularly the art of storytelling and writing, into their practices,” said Dan Yashinsky, artist-in-residence at Baycrest. “Our hope is that healthcare professionals’ daily rounds will not only include talking about the biology of their patients, but what stories they carry with them, and who keeps their stories alive if they are unable to tell them themselves.”

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