TimeSlips Benefits Quality of Life in Mild and Moderate Dementia

Vigliotti, Chinchilli, & George. (2018). Enhancing Quality of Life and Caregiver Interactions for Persons with Dementia Using TimeSlips Group Storytelling: A 6-Month Longitudinal Study. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(4), 507-508. | January 1, 2018



Globally, over 46 million people live with dementia, and we lack disease-modifying treatments. Given the limited efficacy of approved pharmacologic interventions, evidence-based nonpharmacologic, physhosocial treatments have emerged to improve care and decrease problems experienced by persons with dementia. One such intervention is TimeSlips, a group storytelling initiative developed in the 1990s that is now used across the world. TimeSlips, fosters engagement, alertness, and creativity for persons with dementia and improves relationships with caregivers, but no known studies have analyzed the effects of TimeSlips beyond a 10-week period. Over a 6-month period we evaluated the long-term benefits of TimeSlips on participant quality of life and interactions with caregivers and assessed whether dementia severity influenced outcomes.

Overall, our longitudinal evaluation of TimeSlips using validated observational instruments found that participation in the program confers greater relative benefits on QOL and patient–caregiver interactions for participants with mild to moderate dementia. It was also notable that positive benefits of TimeSlips such as laughter appeared to transcend all levels of dementia severity. Although, statistically, those with severe dementia experienced less formal pleasure (i.e., smiles, laughter, relaxed body language, etc.), it is significant that participants with severe dementia were still experiencing laughter. Such an observation helps demonstrate how the arts can uniquely reach people with advanced memory impairments and support QOL.