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Writing Life Histories A Guide for Use in Caring Environments

"Writing Life Histories" is a practical handbook which gives clear guidance on how to put together life histories in supportive or residential settings. It provides: step-by-step guidance; ideas for different types of life histories; activities, strategies and material for prompting memories; helpful tools and writing tips; suggestions for support and forming partnerships with other local services; ideas for involving the person's family and friends; and, discussion on ethical issues to be considered. The benefits of engaging a group or an individual in life history activities include - an aid to memory; creative stimulation; a personalised identity when in a residential home; promotion of interaction and co-operation with others; and, continuity with previous life experience thus combating loss of identity as well as an excellent opportunity to pass on knowledge and experience to others. For staff knowing about past experiences will promote an understanding of behaviour, needs and outlook on life resulting in more personalised care. Staff have references for conversation with cognitive impaired individuals and knowledge about life accomplishments which promotes respect for individuals. This is an indispensible resource for anyone interested in compiling life histories including nurses, residential home staff, carers, tutors and occupational therapists, group facilitators in day centres, clubs for the elderly or learning disabilities.
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