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Life Story Practice

Life Story Practice supports people who have difficulty sharing their life stories. I work with people with learning disabilities and other adults who have difficulties in remembering, communicating and organising their stories as a result of conditions such as dementia. I work with individuals, and those closest to them, to capture their personal histories and re-present them in a form that is accessible. The re-presentations are tailored to the individual and can be in the form of audio, visual or multi-sensory media. Completed stories are used as the foundation for enhancing day-to-day well-being. I have been practicing life history research with vulnerable adults for more than twenty years and have completed an MA and PhD in this area.

5 January 2018
South East
Care, Hospices, Local Authorities, Research Sector, Social Care
Local Alliances:
Brighton and Hove Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Life story work has the capacity to enhance the day-to-day lives of people with dementia and I understand this to be the most valuable aspect of my practice.

A thorough understanding of the life that has been lived can support an individual who is struggling to maintain capacity to express their preferences and decision making processes. 

When the past life experiences are understood and taken into account it is possible to ensure that support is tailor-made to the individual.

A life story is one way to support understanding of an individual, not simply as they are seen in the present, but in the context of their whole lives.

Life stories can give rise to reciprocal conversations and maintain an individual's position within a family or community.

Through an understanding of the context and meaning of someone's life story it becomes possible to adapt activities and environments to increase self-confidence and reduce irritability and anxiety.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

There is a cost to delivering life story practices to individuals. Currently my work is paid for by care homes or individuals. This results in a limited, patchy provision.

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