The value of using photography and storytelling with people with dementia

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


Introduction: Photography and storytelling methods were used with people living with dementia who attend an adult school (VUK) in Denmark as students. These creative methods are being used as ways to support the voice of people living with dementia, prompt memory and enhance understanding of people’s experiences.

Methods: Photographs were taken by students with dementia of their school and home circumstances, with images used as prompts to support narrative discussions. Two groups, comprising five participants each, attended four-weekly sessions. Each session was video recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results: Students decided what they photographed and talked about, using the images to support how they represented their experience as a student, the school and what it meant to live with dementia. There was interest in other people’s stories and images, generating conversations amongst the group.

Discussion: Students enjoyed the process of taking and talking about their images, finding this helped to prompt memories and supported discussions, individually and as a group, encouraging shared experiences and understandings.

Conclusions: The use of photography and storytelling with people with dementia can be a valuable way to engage people in research and to hear about their lived experience.
Period1 Mar 2017
Event titleFirst International Conference on Arts and Dementia Research: Theory, Methodology and Evidence
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Dementia