Capturing Life Stories to Better Know Patients / Residents

Emerging Part of Culture Change Movement and Person-Centered Care

“Everyone has a story.” Activity directors know this is true. But how do you draw out the fascinating tales of your residents’ lives in a way which preserves and shares this unique view of history? How do you help them to tell their life story? The following articles will explore capturing life stories to better know patients / residents.

Telling Your Life Story

@Peter Dazeley, Getty Images
Barbara Lee Sherf conducts writing workshops with small groups of residents as well as in one-on-one sessions to produce personalized articles, booklets, books and/or DVDs as mini-biographies to share with family and friends.Find out how she does it and what you can do to capture resident life stories.

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Life Stories - A Unique Approach to MDS 3.0 Interviews

Yellow Dog Productions
Activity professionals often bring their personal skills, talents and hobbies to their work in order to enhance the daily living experience of their residents. Becky Forsythe found a way to share her interest in genealogy to enhance the life stories of her residents and their families. And in the process uncovered an effective way to approach to the resident interview. Forsythe created LifeStories, a program that uses resident information, reminiscing, validation therapy and research on the web to help residents share and discuss their history.

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Life History Project

Sheila Brune

Everyone has a story, but often we learn their story too late. That’s the reality which motivated Sheila Brune, MS, RN to create the The Living History Program, a copyrighted program that records and creates a the personal story of the patients at CGH Medical Center in Sterling, Illinois. Selecting which patients are subjects of The Living History Program is based on age or diagnosis, a referral from a staff member or simply someone who likes to share their story. Volunteers interview the patients with a screening tool and that serves as a template to write the person's story.

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Telling the Good News About Long-Term Care

Recharging Retirees. Recharging Retirees

Martha Kessinger writes a blog about recreation ideas and the lives of ‘Super Seniors’ – the unseen heroes shining a light on the pluses of aging in the U.S. It helps to tell the positive story of long-term care. Find out more.

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Knowing A Person Allows You to Provide Better Care

One organization not mentioned here is Mosaic Healthcare. Their innovative life-care model combines traditional health care and a focus on key life elements that affect overall wellness. When conducting a care plan meeting with patients, together they outline the goals of the person, not just clinical goals, but life goals as well. As that is taking place someone is actually illustrating their story in a drawing. That drawing makes its way to a button that the person wears. That becomes a conversation piece around the medical facility. When you impact the experience of care, you in turn impact patient safety and quality. And it doesn't take much time to get to know a person just a little bit better.

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