The use of scrapbooking as part of art therapy, a complementary approach to engaging patients is still in its infancy. However, reports of its use have been explored in community care and hospitals outside of Singapore.
An ‘ePortfolio’ in the form of a scrapbook consisting of photos and journals enables us to use the pealing the onion approach to get to know the patients better in terms of their stories and what defines them. It allows us to break the ice, peak into the inner world of the patients and connect with them emotionally regarding their feelings and thoughts.
Zooming into Dementia patients, working at the scrapbook and reminiscing help to address the patient’s higher needs in the context of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, giving them a sense of identity and self-esteem. Home care for seniors with Dementia in Rhode Island quoted that scrapbooking activities have the following benefits (Note 1):
•Alleviate boredom and feeling of isolation;
•While reminiscing, gives a sense of enjoyment and stimulation;
•Life story helps conversation and with ’get to know you’; and
•Meaningful to family bringing family and friends closer together.
Dementia patients can engage in scrapbooking activities with the help of care workers. When the patients are engaged meaningfully and comforted, these will bring relief to the unsung heroes, i.e. the caregivers that often are overlooked. Social workers, therapists and social councillors can also use the products as appropriate, with due respect to data confidentiality and privacy.
I presented this topic to the allied staff of one of the hospitals in a lunch talk. I hope by planting the seed of what could be possible, this shall make a difference in time to come as more stakeholders in healthcare are to explore and pilot it in Singapore.
Note 1: Source: http://www.homecareassistancerhodeisland.com/health-benefits-of-scrapbooking/