Offered in conjunction with the Legacy Writers Groups, the Volunteer Scribes Program enables individuals living with dementia to tell their life stories to specially trained Volunteer Scribes.
With each Legacy Writers Group session, Volunteer Scribes interview their participant (a person living with early to early middle-stage Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias) about their life and then develop their interview into a short story about their participant.
Each session features interviews covering a specific period of the participant’s life: childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood/parenthood, and “life lessons learned.”
The Eastern Maine Volunteer Scribes Program will be implemented and managed by a Student Facilitating Committee consisting of 3 to 5 UMaine students (and possibly 1 to 2 UMaine faculty or staff). This committee will benefit from specialized training for their efforts.
Volunteer Scribes are typically college students majoring in pre-med disciplines or social work, nursing, occupational therapy and speech therapy. These students sincerely value the opportunity to interact with persons living with dementia and gain considerable educational experience from their service. In the past, Volunteer Scribes have included students from the University of New England, the University of Southern Maine, the University of New Hampshire, Colby College and Bates College.
Interviews and resulting short stories are private and confidential. Volunteer Scribes may not share their short stories with anyone but their participant.
The contributions made by Volunteer Scribes are immeasurable. They make it possible for those with Alzheimer’s disease to have a written legacy of their lives – a true gift that can be passed on from generation to generation.
The Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and members of the Eastern Maine Social Engagement Committee will be responsible for the recruitment of program participants (those living with early to early middle-stage Alzheimer’s disease).
Participants play an important role in the Volunteer Scribes program. By working with their Volunteer Scribe(s), participants serve as teachers -- educating their scribes on the realities of living life with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Since many of the scribes are students pursuing careers in the health care field, participants are providing them with an invaluable and much appreciated learning experience.
For more information, please contact Mark Pechenik, Alzheimer’s Association Maine Chapter Director of Community Engagement & Outreach, at 207-772-0115 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.