Why do life story work?
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Portrait of a Life – a multi-media toolkit for life story work
The toolkit and what are we trying to achieve.. A multi-media toolkit for training and supporting the
development of life story work Primarily indicated for use in care homes but developed for wider use with MHF support Supporting the knowledge and evidence base of staff utilising the toolkit Promoting positive engagement with individuals and family carers Something practical containing two DVD’s, a CD Rom, a written guide and photocopiable resources Menu of options for life story work An accessible resource meeting a range of learning styles and settings
Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction The Importance of and the rationale for Life Story work The Evidence base The Benefits and the Risks Consent and Ethics A Practical approach to developing life stories ‘Going Home’ – learning and reflection Personal Stories Leo’s story Mary’s story Embracing and sustaining life story work in practice Final thoughts
What is a life story?
Personal details Place of birth/upbringing Family history – parents, siblings, partner, children Family life – family network, close relationships Early years – school, special friendships, learning Working history – occupation, importance of work, retirement Religion/spirituality – practicing religion, spiritual needs/choices/values in life Marital status/relationship Wartime experience
Understanding Person Centred Care V = Values the person with dementia I = Treating people as Individuals
P = Perspective of the person with dementia S = Supportive Social psychology (Brooker 2004)
Personhood The outcome of person centred care “A standing or status that is bestowed upon
one human being, by others, in the context of relationship or social being. It implies RECOGNITION, RESPECT and TRUST”. (Kitwood 1997)
Signs of well-being indicate this is being
Positive Person Work Supportive Social Psychology Inclusion- Being a part of the social world Attachment-To others, particularly in times of change Comfort- Provision of warmth and closeness Occupation- Being involved in the process of life Love- The central need Identity- Having a sense of who you are
“Dancing with dementia: My story of living positively with dementia” “As we become more emotional and less cognitive, it’s the way you talk to us, not what you say, that we will remember. We know the feeling, but don’t know the plot. Your smile, your laugh and your touch are what we will connect with. Empathy heals. Just love us as we are. We’re still here, in emotion and spirit, if only you could find us.”
(Christine Bryden, Dancing with Dementia, 2005 p138)
Why do life story work? To maintain personhood To improve understanding of behaviour and
presentation To improve relationships with family carers To provide quality of life for individuals Transforming care planning Increasing engagement and job satisfaction Meets the Dignity in Care challengeRespect
DVD AND GROUP EXERCISES What do you think are the main
issues/concerns for Stan? What could staff in the home have done to improve Stan’s experience? What are the benefits of undertaking life story work? What information do staff need to gather to complete a life story for Stan?
STAN: Lack of meaningful
occupation No personal touches in terms of his environment The corridors all look the same-no landmarks/signposts to aid orientation Little/poor staff interaction Poor engagement in daily routines of the home Groundhog day-all the days are the same Hobbies/interests not known or acted upon by staff Lack of opportunities to maintain his sense of identity
STAFF: Engage with Stan to find out
as much about him as possible Collaborate with family and friends to learn even more Make time to build in opportunities for engaging in hobbies and interests Plan his daily routines to take into account the things he likes and still can do for himself Ensure the environment around him reflects him as an individual to maintain his sense of identity Create a space for him to engage in work like tasks
Benefits Achieves a holistic and comprehensive
understanding of the individual as a person rather than through the biological processes of dementia. Reduction in challenging behaviour through individualised care planning Promoting positive therapeutic interventions Positive engagement 1 – 1 and with services Reduced re-referrals / reduced complaints
What individuals say… You have given me back my life….
Are you really interested in me? No-one has done anything like that I want to cry. Can I cry? for me before The carers are always asking me about my life now
The poem reminds Memories are lovely things me of school.. as long as you don’t get the Thank you! bad ones Can’t tell you what your input has meant to her and us…
Risks Proceed with caution! Communicating the worth of the
person as being in the domain of past competencies and achievements rather than in the present (Killick and Allan 2001) The impact of negative life histories – a recommended area for further research
Evidence Base No official research Life story work helps staff form a better
understanding of a person Recent policies DO support life history work
The Evidence Base…
Carers as experts model (Nolan & Keady 2001) Support carers through sharing knowledge (Charlesworth 2001) Family health nursing (WHO 1999) National Service Framework for older people (DoH 2001) The Essence of Care (DoH 2001) The Dignity campaign (DoH 2006) Kitwood T (1997) Dementia Reconsidered; The person comes first. University Press. Buckingham Brooker D (2007) Person-Centred dementia care; making services better. Jessica Kingleys Publishers. London Home From Home (2007) The Alzheimer's Society CSCI (2007) See me not the dementia
Things to consider… Consent from the outset
Ongoing Informed consent Confidentiality Defamation Act 1952 & 1996
Supervision and support for staff
Practical Models and Approaches CARER model Life Books Memory Boxes
Life Story Boards Special Interest/Hobbies Books Significant Events Music CD
Practical Approaches Life books!
Life Story boards
The CARER model C : Collaboration A : Assessment with R : Relatives of E : Elderly R : Residents A model for working in partnership with
individuals and family carers to promote person-centred care
The CARER Model
Life Books, Life Story boards and Memory Boxes
Life story journals
Creating Life Story Boards and Memory Boxes
Exercise 1 Think about an object you currently have in your
possession, that is meaningful to you If you are happy to, place it on the table in front of you What significance does this have for you as a person How does this represent you as a person? How would you feel if these were taken away?
Exercise 2 – “No ideas?” Choose an object from the table Why have you chosen this object? Consider using objects to stimulate
Getting started Introductions Discuss life story work & consent form Developing a rapport Build trust and confidence Familiar face/voice Giving people time
Showing empathy Showing a genuine interest Give some of yourself
The Process Using CARER model to gather information from individual/
families/partners in care. Spend time with the individual & consider the environment. Is a quiet
area more appropriate for discussion? Use information gathered as a baseline for stimulating discussion with
the individual. E.g. Tell me about your school days? Where did you go to school? Did you wear a uniform? Can you remember any special friends? - See CARER model info leaflet. Make notes without detracting from flow of conversation.
Or, tape recorder with permission! Be aware of individual’s body language during discussion – happy?
sad? excited? Open/closed posture? eye-contact?
The Process cont... Share their enthusiasm. Be sensitive to emotional memories and offer
support. Is the information factual/confabulation? – Is this important? Be willing to share your own memories. Be aware of the time you are spending – too much? too little? Ensure you have support networks yourself. Life story work can evoke memories for you too
Potential Barriers Dysphasia Repetitiveness Reduced concentration Sensory impairments Others perceptions “they won’t remember!” Task orientated environment “I don’t have
time? It’s not my job!”
Communication aids Body language/facial expressions Short sessions/don’t overload with info. Using sensory objects to touch/smell/hear They may not remember the content but may remember the enjoyment/feeling Person Centred Care is everybody’s business! A 5 minute conversation can make a difference! Role modelling
What do I do with the information? Decide on a theme or significant memory Research information relating to the theme or
significant memory. Work with families/friends/partners in care for information Gather relevant media Consider confidentiality
Researching information Internet – clip art/Wikipedia – free to use. Be aware of copyright laws when using
internet. Library Books Charity/second hand shops Using individual’s photographs/personal memorabilia – colour copy/scan. Originals are precious!
Themes for storyboards/boxes Holidays
Through the years
Down the pit
Make do and mend
Newspaper cuttings Copied photographs Wrapping paper Scraps of material Familiar pictures Coloured card Glitter Anything pertaining to the theme of the box Plastic wallets Display booklet
Glue sticks Scissors Imagination/fun Picture frame( can be recycled) Shoebox or similar vessel
Using your photographs and the provided
materials, begin to assemble your memory box or board.
Craft work Poetry books Concentrate on facilitating hobbies Colouring/drawing Painting Using music tapes Talking books Reminiscence sessions Picture books
Confidentiality and keeping data secure •Written permission via ‘consent form’ •On going ‘informed’ consent •Use of photographs •Data storage •Encryption
Dear Sir, He has his own keys for the house and was left to go for a walk once when mum had a hospital I am writing this on behalf of my mother in law to try and outline some of her problems with my appointment. When we got back dada “hit the roof” andwhen said we mum had locked him in the house. He has his own keys for the house and was left to go for walk once father in law, Leo. For the past 12 months it has been very difficult for my mother in law. Another time dad shouted and carried on and he said mum had been out playing games and dancing had aat allhospital appointment. theout roof” we youhada little insight of what is going Because of Dad’s changing behaviour he now has no interests and just wants to be with herWhen weuntilgot 4amback when shedadhad “hit not been at all. Iand hope said this gives all the time. He is confused regarding clothing, like not remembering to put shirts on etc or not on, and as you can imagine there is a lot more. On the whole dad is a lovely man and means no locked him in the house. taking them off and also wearing them under his night clothes. It is also difficult because he harm, but it is causing mum to be ill and upset because dad does not know he is doing it. We feel wears two hearing aids but has very selective hearing. He will totally ignore you and then it is mum that needs the breaks. repeat things to mum when we have gone. He is also moving and losing things. Dad worked until he was 82 in a little cleaning job or washing up for three or four hours a day He cannot relax and he is up and down all the time and in and out looking for glasses, hearing and he loved it because it was his independence and got out of the house. Now I feel not only is aids, teeth, etc, but are usually either wearing them or have put them away and forgot where. it his age, but boredom too. But as much as we try to give him his independence he relies on We realise a lot of this is age related but it is making mum ill. When they are on their own, dad mum for everything from dressing to food. He will not make a decision about anything and then can be verbally aggressive to mum saying that she is always on the phone (mostly when we ring he was notgames asked. and dancing Another time dad shouted and carried on and he said mum had been outsaysplaying to see if she is alright), and that she does not do things for him, etc. He snaps at her and then He is very jealous of anyone going to the house, including us, grandchildren and great untillater4amhas when five minutes forgottenshe it. had not been out at all. grandchildren, as we are taking up mum’s time. he does not think we are family and calls us sir Mum used to have two shopping days a week which gave her a break, but now dad insists on going or madam, or friends. I do hope this helps you and that you can help us. I am sorry but my with her. Sometimes he will be fine, but other times he can be very moody and takes it out on mother in law is not up to coming to this appointment with dad as she finds it all too much and her when they get home. He is very confused as to days and times, etc. Recently mum had been very upsetting. There is not many days go by where she is not in tears and it is taking its toll quite ill with the stress and had to go into hospital, but he told people that she had gone to the on her health. hairdressers or shopping. Yours Sincerely,
When they are on their own, Dad can be verbally aggressive to Mum.
Recently mum had been quite ill with the stress and had to go into hospital, but he told people that she had gone to the hairdressers or shopping.
Developing the story. The flowchart Basic interviewing Hopefully, by undertaking a Life Story Project, you can help the person build self confidence and feel valued and respected. It is also important when engaging with the person to ask relevant questions Basic Interviewing techniques Ask open-ended questions which can be developed at length by the client. It is essential that the interviewer be as unobtrusive and inconspicuous as possible. Start the session with easy and enjoyable kinds of questions…
Tom Kitwood. As we go through life we build up a personal history with its unique mix of joys and pleasures, sorrows and pains. Our sense of who we are is linked to that history and if we lose that we lose something of ourselves
Thank you !