Our Wellbeing Centres Use Life History Books To Personalise Our Care Offer
How Life History Books can help us personalise our care
Every EveryDay wellbeing centre customer has their own individual story. We know that our our own life experiences shape us as individuals, and knowing theirs helps our care team to understand who they are as a person then and now.
We appreciate that people who are living with dementia can experience problems with their ability to communicate. Their memory loss means they sometimes need support to communicate important aspects of who they are, such as their background, previous interests, and who and what was important to them. A Life History Story Book acts as a record of their information and can be shared with our team to help us better understand and relate to them.
What does our Life History Book look like?
There are several ways that our Life History book can be completed. We can use a combination of formats. It always depends on what will work best for the person living with dementia.
These might include:
This format is portable and easily accessible to our carers and the customer’s family. We keep them simple with their photos and clear, easy-to-read text. We can use the digital therapy system RITA (Reminiscent Interactive Therapy & Activity) to create these in a consistent format.
Multiple colours and patterns can be confusing for people living with dementia, so we keep it simple with two contrasting colours. The final copy is laminated to protect it from damage.
Personal images work well to encourage reminiscing, and can be useful for our customers in the later stages of dementia.
Reminiscence or memory boxes
These can be particularly useful for our customers with sensory impairments, such as sight loss or for those people in the later stages of dementia, when touch or smell are relied on more to communicate.
There are a number of Apps to help save and share photos and memories of special places by marking them on a map, or playing video and audio. They are simple to use and suitable for people in earlier stages of dementia. Again the RITA system allows us to safely store information about each customer.
When we create their Life History Book
When we compile a Life History Book we always involve the customer and their family in the process. This makes their Life History Book more likely to reflect the person’s real preferences.
We try to ensure a sense of engagement by making our customer comfortable within the conversation. The conversation can take many turns and that’s alright. We don’t always start at the beginning of a person’s life we let them lead the conversation where possible.
Taking The Time
If they find it difficult to communicate their life story we involve their family who are able to provide key information. Often by using ‘prompts’ we can tease out information and include this.
This can sometimes be an upsetting process so our customer provides the detail at a pace that’s comfortable for them, maybe in more than one session.
A person’s Life History Book might include the following:
- Their basic information, their name, DOB, where they live
- Details about their significant others, their family and friends
- Their childhood
- Their working life and career
- Significant dates for them, marriage, birth of their children etc
- Their own personal preferences
- Their foor likes or dislikes
- What their daily routine is like
- What their TV or music preferences are
- What activities they’ve enjoyed or currently enjoy
We never bombard our customer with questions. We simply engage them and their family in a conversation centred around them. Once their Life History Book is complete we share it with our team here at EveryDay to ensure they can better support their customer.
If you would like to talk to us about our unique Wellbeing Centre services which provide respite to carers and a safe, friendly and engaging atmosphere for our customers give our team a call. We’ll be delighted to tell you about our services and invite you and your loved one along for a free taster session at one of our three centres in North Tyneside
Telephone 0191 2877028 Option 2 to chat to us without obligation.