ALAMAR FOR DEMENTIA: testimonial by Samanta Noldin

Alzheimer ed Experience Nature, testimonianza di Samanta Soldin, educatore professionale Apsp Santa Maria, Cles (TN)

25 May 2018, LTC Anaunia, Taio (TN) Italy: presentation of the Experience Nature method:


As part of the preparations for the 2018 edition of Alzheimer Fest, four information evenings were organised on the approach to the person with Alzheimer’s disease.


With contributions from:

Cristina Fino, author and creator of Experience Nature,

Marianna Baggia, LTC Anaunia, Taio (TN) Italy, coordinator,

Samanta Noldin, dementia social educator LTC Santa Maria, Cles (TN), Italy.

Testimonial by Samanta Noldin, dementia social educator LTC Santa Maria, Cles (TN), Italy


We discovered Cristina and the Experience Nature videos about two years ago, when we started laughter yoga sessions. During these moments the residents would come alive, activating oxytocin, experiencing very intense emotions. Then, however, came the moment of goodbyes and here we needed something to sediment what had been experienced. So, we started projecting the videos and the residents would have a moment of relaxation, of calm, looking at the lake, rather than at the flowers. This allowed, also, a moment of exchange between them… everyone saw their lake, everyone had their own recipe for jam….

From there we said to ourselves: if it works so well in the moments of laughter yoga, maybe they can work just as well in the important moments of people’s lives.

We did a little experimentation, starting to use them at the moment of waking up, to avoid the onset of the special, frequent behaviours of having to wait an hour for breakfast. We saw how, by projecting them on the TV, these people were still relaxing in their chairs and arrived at breakfast much more relaxed.

We then thought of using them during meals, either as background, or as stimulation for those who refused food, by projecting the videos of fruit, vegetables… people ate more willingly.

We then moved on to falling asleep, very difficult moments where thoughts start, fears emerge and we saw how people fell asleep much faster and slept much longer.

For some, they were used at the moment of hygiene, precisely because for people living with dementia, being washed is not an easy thing, it is not easy to explain it to them and we saw that by projecting the videos they were distracted, watching the stream that brought them back to a past memory, to a happy moment and this made bathing a serene moment, making it much easier for the caregivers to carry out hygiene without making the person suffer.

We also used videos for the last moments of one person’s life; she had known them during laughter yoga sessions. She had a video that she loved, the one of autumn leaves (Autumn Colors), so in agreement with the family, we thought of projecting it and she died peacefully with the video.

We also thought of using them for creative storytelling. I have been running these sessions for four months now. At the beginning it was very hard, because we don’t have the proper videos yet, so I use the normal (monothematic) videos and we have to use a lot of imagination and creativity.

At first it was difficult; it might take ten minutes to identify the name of the squirrel. Now, after four months, we have some really good stories being created, everyone participates in their own way, some are more into fantasy, some more into memory.

There are beautiful moments about remembering, about their being, and that’s why we had a session on the sea, bringing the basin with sand, with water, shells… we had ice cream because at the sea you don’t eat cookies but you eat ice cream. It was very, very emotional, because one of our residents, who speaks very little and has really big difficulties, told us how he met his wife, just at the sea, he even started crying and when we told his daughter about it, she also got very emotional because it was a memory she had as a child, but she had forgotten it and now she has it alive again.

This is what we do and believe me, things are going really well.”

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