Importance of a Life Story Book

A life story book is a homemade book made to store memories and stories about a person’s life. It might be used as a valuable resource for future carers or for the individual and family to go through. While remembering very recent things can be difficult for many people with dementia, many find that they can clearly recall events that happened years ago. Making a life story book uses this to emphasize what can be remembered rather than what can’t. Reminiscing in this way helps to raise self-esteem and reinforces living a meaningful day. Some ideas to include in the book:

Personal details: place of birth, siblings, family memories, childhood memories, first job, other employment, getting married, children

General ideas: places lived or visited, clothing and hairstyles, leisure time, hobbies, cars owned, holidays, favorite foods and drinks, favorite books or films

Keep in Mind:

Do

* think creatively about promting memories and their presentation

* work at a pace everyone is happy with

* ensure the person wants to make the book; if you are not a family member, make sure the family is informed

* be a good listener; support and reassure the person and always respect their wishes

* ensure the book is property of the person it is about

Don’t

* use the Life Story in a testing way: it should be a pleasurable and empowering process, not a stressful one

* ask too many questions

* rush- this can be a longer process than anticipated