These are some of our most frequently asked questions


Do I have to take the Online Training to use the Creativity Center?

As part of our mission to make creative engagement available to all, our Creativity Center is free to use without training. We think the training will be enormously helpful - but it's not required.

My care home wants to do I Won’t Grow Up! How can we do that?

When you take our Creative Community of Care training, you can pick which of our story projects you would like to do.  We can guide you through the process to create Wendy's Neverland as part of the CCC training. Wendy's Neverland (and other story projects) are part of our Artist in Residence CCC training, which includes costs to support artists to collaborate on the process and celebration event. We are happy to help you with templates to support your grant writing. Medicaid Certified nursing homes can apply for CMP funding to support the CCC trainings.  Other organizations have received ACL grants, or local foundation grants to support their training and projects. 

I’m a Certified Facilitator – do I have to appear on the map?

Nope. You can go into your profile (via My Dashboard) and undo the Display Profile button.

I’m a Certified Facilitator – How do I change my profile on the map and network listing?

Easy peasy.  Log in and click on My Dashboard. Then click on your name and your profile will pop up.  You can the ability to edit your own profile - in fact we rely on you to keep it all up to date! 

I just signed up for training – where/how do I access it?

Once your payment is processed, our system will grant you access. Refresh the page and you should see "My Dashboard" at the top of the page. Click on My Dashboard, and you should find a button for access to the Training Center.

I can’t hear the sound in the Online Training.

Be sure your computer isn't on MUTE. Turn up the volume on the computer and in the module sound icon.

I’m a Certified Facilitator. What does that mean I can do?

Certification assures you that you have successfully transitioned from training to practice, and enables you to facilitate storytelling circles and call them TimeSlips sessions. Certified Facilitators can “model” Time Slips for others, but they can not “certify” others. That is reserved for people trained as In-House Trainers and Certified Trainers.

Do I have to take the Online Training to use the Creativity Center?

As part of our mission to make creative engagement available to all, our Creativity Center is free to use without training. We think the training will be enormously helpful - but it’s not required.


What does the certification process look like if a student goes through training and facilitating sessions as part of a course?

Certification is pretty simple. We ask that they facilitate a minimum of 3 sessions; post the resulting stories to the Creativity Center on our website, and then complete our Self Evaluation form. If someone from your Creative Campus is trained as an In House Trainer, the Self Evaluation form will show up in the students tasks. When they complete it, the In House Trainer will get notification that it needs to be reviewed. They can comment on the Self Evaluation and either send it back to the student for some discussion or simply approve it which will complete the certification process. If your Creative Campus does not have an In House Trainer, the student will need to purchase certification on our Products page and will go through the same process but will be assigned to TimeSlips Certified Trainer/staff member to go through the review process with instead of someone internal in your Creative Campus.

In addition to the training online, could we do some kind of “orientation” that might include doing a practice round as a group (just students)?

An orientation or practice is a great idea! Getting the hang of how to phrase open ended questions; remembering to use the yes, and concept; practicing how to record and ensure you are echoing and acknowledging all contributions can be hard at first. It’s also good to remind students that the more you can make it about imaging/inventing/making up the story - the better - remembering that there are no wrong answers and the story doesn’t have to be “polished” or “make sense” the way they might be used to. In the Student Volunteer Resource Guide in your Toolkit, we’ve provided a few items that may be helpful during an orientation phase:

  • Student Volunteer/Service Learning 101 has some great tips for getting started and some ideas about what to expect. Especially getting to know your aging services site which includes any volunteer orientation or paperwork that may be required by them.
  • Challenges That May Pop Up goes over a few common pitfalls and how to address/avoid them. It could be helpful to role play a few of these scenarios.
  • In the Appendix there is a “Recap of Training” is not intended to be a checklist or something you should bring with you when you facilitate. But in a practice session it may be nice to ensure you remember and understand the reason for each step. In addition, it may be a helpful tool for reflection after facilitating: Did you remember each step? How did each step go? If you forgot a step, how would it have changed the session? How would you do steps differently next time?
In addition, you may want to visit our where you will find short presentations like an Intro to Aging as well as Identifying Ageism in Intergenerational Spaces. Lastly, inviting at least one staff member of your aging services partner to join your Creative Campus and take the online training can go a long way in ensuring that they are aware of sessions should work and can be of additional support to students.

Do you recommend that all students attend all the sessions together? Since they are coming from all different programs the volunteer dates/times might not work for all of them.

Not necessarily, we understand schedules are hard to accommodate so do what works for you. At one school for example, they actually partner with three aging services partners who give possible days and times that work on their end and students can sign up for whatever times works in their schedule. This requires clear and direct communication between the students and the aging services partner, so ensure everyone is set up for success on that front. Some schools that have smaller groups of students and an aging services partner who is geographically close by the school, actually use class time to all go together which is a great option whenever possible. Students being able to co-facilitate makes for great reflection and learning.

Is it suggested that our aging services partner organize the same group of residents each time or is it okay if they are different residents each time?

We prefer that it is the same group so facilitators can get to know the storytellers and develop relationships and rapport. These sessions also go a long way for developing a sense of community among residents and even between residents and staff. But if it doesn't work out that way, it’s also not a bad thing to spread the creativity and love around a little either!

If a student or administrator already has an account on the TimeSlips website, can they join our Creative Campus?

Yes! Just make sure when you invite them to the Creative Campus you use the same email address they used to create their account. (Or they can update their account to match your invitation if needed.)

How many sessions should a teacher require students to facilitate over the course of a project or semester?

We recommend at least 5-6 so they really get into the swing of things. It usually takes 2-3 sessions just to feel comfortable facilitating and it’s good to have enough sessions for them to get to know the elders. But TimeSlips does not have a requirement - do what is right for your group of students, your aging services partner, and your timeframe.

I’ve done the training as a Student – should I get “certified?”

That’s up to you! Training simply means you completed the online training. Certification assures you that you have successfully transitioned from training to practice. Why Certify? Certification:

  • Verifies that you are following the core principles of the method.
  • Provides access to Certified Trainers and professional development
  • Provides access to our inspiring international network of Certified Facilitators
  • Provides access to additional support / promotional materials
  • If you took the training as a student and didn't purchase certification at that time, please contact us and we'll send you the information to move ahead.


    Can people with severe memory loss do this? I don’t think my group/loved one is capable…

    Yes! TimeSlips works beautifully with people in the mid to late stages of memory loss. We have run many successful groups made up of people at all stages and abilities. One just needs to remind people that TimeSlips is about the imagination, and to reflect the joy at the base of the process. Learn more about working with family members. Learn more about organizational training.

    Can Improvisational Storytelling be done with people with low vision?

    Yes!  People with low vision are already envisioning the story in their minds. Once a story gets started (just a few basic answers) in a group setting, people with low vision commonly jump in and carry the story. You can also use high contrast or contour copies of an image to make it more visible.  


    I care for my husband at home. Can I do this one-on-one?

    Of course you can! In fact, we designed this site for you so you can have something meaningful and playful to do at home and also invite family members who might be far away to play with you (through the "collaborate" button). The main challenge will be to open yourself to word-play and let go of any desire to “clean up” language. TimeSlips is about experimenting and playing with expression. There are no wrong answers. Also try our Creativity Journal, specifically designed for one-on-one use. It's a beautifully designed keepsake with simple instructions for families, friends, homecare and hospice workers.

    How can I get my loved one into a TimeSlips program?

    Check our our MAP to find TimeSlips near you. If there isn't one near you, try bringing info about the program to your current aging services provider (senior center, day center, early memory loss program, or long term care facility). This approach is inexpensive and easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any program.


    How does my Organization get trained?

    Just click on Org Training in Services (or here). We offer fully online or in-person training.

    The training elements include:
    • Creative engagement techniques
    • Creative community building techniques
    • Engaging families, staff and volunteers
    • Planning a celebration event
    • Creative Asset Mapping
    • Documentation and Evaluation

    How do I become a Trainer? I want to train others in my company to do this.

    Have your organization become a Creative Community of Care. This includes training two staff members as In-House Trainers. This status enables your organization  to train and certify staff at a dramatically reduced rate. Learn more about becoming a Creative Community of Care.


    Is there evidence that this works?

    There is some nice, solid research out there now telling us that yes, this kind of creative engagement has significant impact on the lives of people with dementia. See our impact page for more details.


    How do I invite a friend to collaborate on a story?

    Click hereto learn how to invite a friend to collaborate on a story from our creativity center.

    Can I see Improvisational Storytelling in action somewhere?  

    Check out our map and see if there is a Creative Community of Care or Certified Facilitator near you who would be open to a demonstration. Or simply watch one of our videos to see TimeSlips in action. Our Online Training also has extensive videos of the process in action.

    How can I learn more?

    Click here to learn more about our many services and products. Or contact us directly with your questions.

    Where does the name TimeSlips come from?

    From our Founder, Anne Basting: "In 1998, I received a grant for a project called "The Interactive, Intergenerational Storytelling Project with People with Alzheimer's and Related Dementia."  Well, as you might imagine, that was a bit of a mouthful. I needed a name that captured the essence of what we were doing - poetically, so that we inspired people to take a step into imagination.  TimeSlips captured the non-linear quality of the stories. We were simultaneously in the past, the present and the future - imagining yet always drawing on the past. I called the first play that I wrote inspired by stories told by elders with dementia TimeSlips in 1998, and it has been the name ever since. I also liked that it evoked the idea of a boat slip, as in TS Eliot's poem, Dry Salvages (part of the Four Quartets), which explores the power of time (larger than all of us) and the journey through life as being like a slowly leaking boat.  But that's pretty esoteric!"

    Can I print the images in the Creativity Center?

    Yes!  When you click on a prompt, you will open the Create page. There you will see "Print Image & Questions". Then simply print the worksheet. You can also right click the image once you're on the Create page and save the image to your computer, or drag and drop it to your desktop. Once it is saved to your computer you can open and print it by itself, without the starter questions. Click here to watch a tutorial of how to download and print a TimeSlips image.

    I am an artist – how can I get involved?

    The best training for artists in our Creative Care Institute - three inspiring days here in Milwaukee, learning alongside care professionals and other artists. But many artists also take our on-line or in-person training workshops to become certified facilitators. If you are already certified and are interested in working with us as an artist in residence, let us know. We are currently recruiting in Kentucky and Tennessee, with more to come!

    How do I use all of the great features in the Creativity Center?

    Click Here for an Instructional Video

    Can I read some of the 20,000 stories from across the world?

    Yes! Click on Creativity Center (under Resources) and scroll down to the Browse Stories section. There you'll see stories we've marked as favorites from around the world, and a search feature to help you find others.

    We already do improvisational storytelling in my facility. How is TimeSlips’ training different?

    We often hear people say “We’re already doing that...” but when we ask a few questions, we hear, “well, maybe not...” Here’s a handy checklist:

  • Are you creating a ritual process and a special event?
  • Are you accepting and validating every answer?
  • Are you inviting and including gestures, sounds, and "non-sensical" answers?
  • Are you asking open-ended (“Beautiful”) questions?
  • Are you echoing all responses to be sure you’re getting them right?
  • Are you inviting and affirming multiple forms of expression (sounds, gesture, image, words)?
  • Are you having fun?
  • Are you connecting deeply with residents?
  • Are you sharing the stories beyond your group?
  • Are you engaging and building on the creativity of staff, families, volunteers and elders?
  • If not...your organization could truly benefit from building community through creative engagement. Learn more about becoming a Creative Community of Care.

    Where do you find these images!?

    With over 500 Certified Facilitators, we have lots of image hunters! We often find images that have the Creative Commons license and ask permission to use it for non-commercial purposes. But you can really use anything as a prompt. Try looking out the window, or holding a piece of fruit to prompt a story exchange. The images are fun and thought provoking, but the world is your prompt! In general, you can find images in greeting cards, calendars, online image banks (like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the New York Public Library) and magazine ads. But be sure to have permission to use the image if you plan to sell it in book or calendar form.

    This is fun. Who was this designed for? And who can use it?

    It IS fun isn’t it? TimeSlips was originally designed for people with cognitive disabilities like dementia. Creative engagement is an ideal way for people with cognitive challenges to communicate. Our main audiences are families, care providers and elders experiencing isolation, whether from disabilities or social situations. But it’s fun for everyone and effective for community building of all kinds.