33   91
18   95
16   140
21   216
63   432
39   203
41   169
16   131
27   136
29   108

DOCUMENTING LIFE STORIES CAN LEAD TO BETTER QUALITY CARE AS WE AGE

Isn’t life just a collection of memories?

At 85, you’ll only recall those experiences and recollections that have stayed in your mind for a long time, even if they’ve faded with time. These are the moments in our lives that we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives!

On the first date with your spouse, you took a photo together and shared your dessert after dinner, which was simply fantastic! Summer barbeques are especially memorable because they take place when the sun is shining stronger and the sky is a brilliant blue. This is also the time when all three generations of your family are photographed together in your backyard, all of whom are beaming with joy. When you asked your spouse to be your lifelong companion or when you decided to include your new pet in your family’s Christmas card, your heart was pounding out of your chest. These moments, no matter how great or little, are what give our lives meaning and excitement.

In addition to preserving our memories, did you know that keeping a written record of our lives may improve our quality of life as we become older? Continue reading to learn more.

Personal Narratives and the Standard of Care

Is there a way to improve the quality of treatment by recording life stories?

Personalized treatment and support are made possible when members of the healthcare team have access to a patient’s life narrative. It is easier for caregivers to evaluate a person’s needs, comprehend their behaviors, and motivate them to deliver high-quality care when memories, life experiences, knowledge, and pleasures are shared with them. The need for this is much greater in residential care settings, when caregivers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist patients. Documenting service customers’ biographical histories:

  • Provides a comprehensive picture of the population being cared for, questioning generally held views or attitudes. As a result, it fosters better and more tailored care results.
  • An individual’s wants and actions may be better understood. Understanding an individual’s cultural and social background, personal beliefs, and life experiences may aid in the development of their care plan.
  • It aids those who are moving to a new care facility. These emotions of isolation, loneliness, and loss of self-identity might emerge from this rapid transformation. People’s self-esteem and feeling of community may both benefit from life narrative work.
  • Information about one’s preferences and history may be a powerful tool for managing stressful circumstances and alleviating emotions of depression and loneliness. Staff can better understand patients’ tendencies and aspirations by analyzing their life stories.

Storytelling and the Care of Memory

Researchers at a long-term care facility discovered that gaining access to residents’ life stories and engaging in “life story work” allowed staff to better connect with clients’ past and current experiences with the people they cared for. This is one of the best gifts for Grandma.

Life histories are critical in circumstances when a patient has a cognitive impairment or dementia. It’s possible that somebody doesn’t remember much of their history. However, anything written by a caregiver or a family member before a diagnosis is made might assist the staff in better comprehending the patient’s behavior and provide them with a wealth of recollections. These exercises may have a positive impact on older folks and those with dementia when used in a therapeutic context.

Begin now

To begin, save the tiniest, most specific amount of memory. Don’t be ashamed or afraid of yourself. If you preserve the moment, you won’t be taking anything away from it. You will not modify it. You’ll know how much you’re creating better quality care for yourself in years to come.

Thank you for reading.


 

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