Pathways to the Past
By Sandra Stimson ADC, CALA, CDP
Executive Director, Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care


Sandra Stimson has experience as a
corporate consultant, Corporate Trainer
and National Speaker. Her experience is
in long term care, as Activity Director,
Director of Alzheimer's Units and
Assistant Administrator of a 550 bed long
term care county home.  She is
Co-founder of Pet Express Pet Therapy
Club, is a Life Replay Specialist.  
Sandra implements dementia units
nationwide.  Sandra has written several
books, Volunteer Management
Essentials for Long Term Care and Pet
Express Pet Therapy Program. Sandra
has been a facilitator for Alzheimer's
support groups and is the Awards Chair
for the NJ Association of Activity
Professionals.  Sandra is the Executive
Director of
National Council of Certified
Dementia Practitioners  

Alternative Solutions in Long Term
Care offers resources for health care
professionals in many areas of dementia
care, care plans, Snoezelen products,
dementia activity calendars, adult day
care calendars, sensory calendars,
reminisce videos for dementia, activity
books, and dates to remember, party
resources and links.
Each Norman Rockwell print is
paired with a national standards of
Resident Rights and is
illustrated by a picture depicting
the "Resident Right."

click here to purchase resident
rights prints
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings

Copyright 2004-Present
The Activity Director's Office
All Rights Reserved

Sandra Stimson
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TimeSlips® Project- A Story Telling Project

By: Sandra Stimson CDP ADC CALA
National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners

Activity professionals are challenged with searching, locating, designing and implementing
programs that best fit the needs of the dementia population residing in the long term care
setting or attending adult day care.  One program that has proven to work effective with the
dementia population is reminiscing.  Activity professionals for years have used all kinds of
props to invoke responses.  Timeslips was developed in 1998 and shifts from reminisce to
encouraging residents to use their imagination and creativity.   Both Timeslips and
traditional reminisce programs both have a place in the long term care setting.
“Developed by Anne Basting (PhD) in 1998, the TimeSlips® Project has generated
hundreds of stories that are used to produce plays and art exhibits, and to rekindle the hope
for human connection among people struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and related

“TimeSlips® marks a fundamental shift away from focusing on memory and reminiscence,
toward encouraging people with memory loss to exercise their imaginations and creativity. It
provides the building blocks for effective, person-centered care.  The stories that emerge
capture the hopes, dreams, regrets, fears, humor, and desires of people with memory loss,
and help others better understand who they are.”

The Timeslips® program is easy to learn and cost effective to implement in the facility or
dementia unit.  Traditionally, activity professionals have found interesting pictures and held
them up in front of a group or passed around a picture.  Timeslips utilizes an overhead
projector and transparencies.  Once the activity professional has located an interesting
black and white picture, the picture would be copied onto transparencies. Rather than
holding up a small 8 1 / 2 by 11 picture, the over head projector allows the activity
professional to transmit the picture onto a large screen or wall.  This enables all residents to
clearly see the picture.

The Activity professional would prepare ahead, questions to elicit responses from the group.
Those answers would be written down.  After or even during the program, the activity
assistant would assemble a story from the resident responses. For example, a picture of a
baby sitting in a kitchen sink filled with dishes is an excellent example of the type of picture
that would inspire their imaginations and provoke opinions and thoughts.

Often times, activity professionals are challenged in locating vintage pictures for this
program. There is a great web site to locate interesting pictures at Nostalgic Clip Art
Photography from 1900 to 1950. Vintage Classic Collection web site is

For those interested in taking the Timeslips class, can visit the web site to see the schedule
of classes. However, you do not need to take this class to begin this program.  They do offer
a training video at

This program has been implemented at many facilities with positive feed back. It’s a fun and
rewarding program for the activity assistant. For the resident, it is empowering, lifts their self
esteem, and brings joy.

“TimeSlips is a group storytelling technique that encourages people with memory loss to
exercise their imaginations and creativity.”  Because of this, there is a bonding experience
with the group because all are using their imaginations and creativity.  The great aspect
about this program, especially with clients who have limited words, is that it does not really
matter what correct or incorrect words they use. The point is to use their imaginations,
engage their emotions and thoughts.  

Source:  Timeslips Project
Find these pictures and more at Timeslips Project