Mobile Digital Storytelling in a Brazilian Care Home

  • Ana Raquel Abrahão
  • Paula Fernanda Carlos da Silva
  • David M. FrohlichEmail author
  • Theti Chrysanthaki
  • Aline Gratão
  • Paula Castro
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10926)


Digital stories are short personal films made up of a series of still images with voiceover, music and text. The technical barriers to creating such stories are falling with the use of mobile apps which make it easy to assemble story elements as audiophoto narratives on a smartphone or tablet. In this case study, we explored the potential of mobile digital storytelling in a care home context. It was used for four weeks as form of multimedia communication between formal and informal carers inside and outside the home, and a care home resident suffering from dementia. The home was located in São Carlos, Brazil as part of a larger international project called Time Matters (UK and Brazil), in which Time stands for ‘This is me’. Fifteen digital stories were made by participants in the trial, which is about one for every visit of the researchers to the care home. Stories focused mainly on the resident; capturing aspects of everyday life discussed in Visit conversations (4), documenting Social events (3) inside or outside the home, recording Therapy sessions (3) with the resident or Health reports (3) by professional carers, and forming Media albums (2) of the residents’ art or life. In general, the technology was most useful for facilitating richer conversations with the resident and other participants, and stimulating greater expressivity and creativity in the resident herself. The desire to document the resident’s current life and interests in the home for later reminiscence by their family, stands in contrast to conventional reminiscence therapy and related digital systems. These use media artefacts to stimulate reminiscence of residents’ past life outside the home.


Digital storytelling Mobile Multimedia narratives Photo sharing Dementia Care home Family and friends Informal carers Formal carers  Reminiscing Memory Communication 



We would like to acknowledge funding from the University of Surrey and FAPESP for the SPRINT UK and Brazil network on Assistive Media for Health and Wellbeing in Ageing. This allowed us to travel and collaborate on the Time Matters project together: The reported work was led in Brazil by Castro and contributes to the student dissertations in Gerontology of Abrahao and da Silva, at the Federal University of São Carlos. We also thank the resident, family and staff of the care home involved in the study for their time and insights in the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Raquel Abrahão
    • 1
  • Paula Fernanda Carlos da Silva
    • 1
  • David M. Frohlich
    • 2
    Email author
  • Theti Chrysanthaki
    • 2
  • Aline Gratão
    • 1
  • Paula Castro
    • 1
  1. 1.Gerontology DepartmentFederal University of Sao Carlos/UFSCarSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Digital World Research CentreUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK

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