Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Once Upon a Time -- Again

Making Memories

What's in It for Them? continued...

"Early-stage people are people who still sort of have their faculties but are slipping, and they tend to be defensive about the facts. They will count how many buildings are in a photo and tell you exact things. They are more reluctant to go into the imagination," she says. "For people in the middle stage, the imagination is a fabulous tool and they revel in it. That is where all their memories live, too, and [storytelling] is a way of channeling them."

In addition to validating their thoughts and words, there are other benefits to engaging people with Alzheimer's, says Basting. "In a lot of the research I have done, if you keep them communicating in any way -- any kind of emotional outreach -- they are more alert and their quality of life is higher than if they start the internalization process," she says, referring to the point at which a person with Alzheimer's starts turning inward. "Once they start the internalization process, they die very quickly."

The benefits also extend to the nursing home staff. "To me the big thing is actually the staff's point of view," explains Basting. "If the staff is able to connect to people with Alzheimer's, it makes their job easier: it's the hardest job in the world to do, but if they feel they are emotionally connected it becomes this relationship rather than 'I have to change their diapers' and 'who cares what this person feels.' If they feel that personal bond they are more tender, more caring and the quality of care is higher."

It also helps family members once again see that there is a person still inside. "Usually what we do is go into homes and do about 10 weeks of storytelling; we get 20 stories and put them into a book and give it to family," says Basting. "They go, 'Oh, my God! And they see the potential for communication with them -- if they rethink their own needs for fact. A lot of time family members try to protect the memory of the person that 'was' and are more reluctant to indulge the creativity, the nonsense approach."

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing