Everyone has a unique life story. Our life experiences shape us as individuals and this helps others to understand who we are as a person. People with dementia sometimes need help to communicate important aspects of their identity – like background, interests, who and what is important to them – due to problems with memory loss or communication.
Compiling a ‘My Life’ story is something that people with dementia, family members and professional carers can all benefit from. It can help people with dementia to share their stories and enhance their sense of identity. It can help family carers develop closer relationships through sharing stories and make a positive contribution to the person’s care. Sometimes the carer discovers information they never knew! For professional carers, the person’s life story can help them to develop a better understanding of the person’s needs, improve communication and relationships, and deliver person-centred care.
If someone goes into hospital or a care home it is really helpful to share the life story book with staff. Make sure you keep a copy though! Many care settings also now have their own formats, such as ‘This is Me’ or ‘All About Me’, so you can easily transfer relevant information into their versions.
There are different examples of life story books or profiles available. Our Life story tool ‘My Life story’ is a flexible document, which can be adapted into a shorter or longer format with photos and pictures.
Here are some tips on how you can create a ‘My Life Story’ to support individuals living with dementia:
When the life book is completed, share with family, friends and professional carers, so they too can help get to know the person better and learn more about how to help them.
Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45