The National Life Story Network was launched at a conference in Leeds on 12th February. The network provides a national forum (www.lifestorynetwork.org.uk) to support the use of Life Story work among people with dementia, and others.
Life Story work aims to improve quality of life, wellbeing, and care by enabling people to document and share their life story in a way they choose, ranging across written accounts, to sound recordings, to DVDs and more. It has been used successfully with a wide range of people in NHS and social care settings, including those with dementia.
This work is of particular value to people with dementia, their relatives, and those who care for them. It enables people with dementia to reaffirm their identity as individuals, with their own unique history. Their experiences, interests, and abilities are re-visited, shared with those around them, and celebrated.
In addition, Life Story work can serve as a powerful vehicle for improved understanding between those with dementia and the staff who care for them. Staff benefit from an enriched understanding of the people in their care – helping them to see the person behind the dementia – and the opportunities this provides to converse, build relationships, and tailor care to the needs and preferences of the individual. Meanwhile, family carers are also able to revisit their relative’s life, and reaffirm their part in it.
Life Story videos can be viewed on the National Life Story Network website.
To submit an example either complete the online form or download the form in word format and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit comments or questions to appear on these pages for network members.