Dementia and Life Story. A rewarding project

Dementia and Life Story can be a union that produces a wonderful family legacy. Whilst there is a lesson to be learned from obtaining the life stories of our loved ones before the onset of age and symptoms that may be associated with a decline in memory, understanding the phenomenon can help elicit communication that will be a wonderful life story.

Life Story and Dementia
A Life Story and Dementia can be a powerful union

A Salad of Information

Communication is more than the spoken word. Successful understanding and communication happens when we not only listen, but stay in the moment with the loved one and be ready to be where they are in their story telling. This salad of information can be documented as it emerged or reorganised to create a flowing narrative. Some may consider that this salad of ideas and concepts a wonderful representation of their loved one and seize as many opportunities as possible to capture experiences still stored in their mind. There is no right or wrong in either of these outcomes.Continue Reading

Writing my Life Story

Writing my Life Story is becoming extremely popular in Australia. In the US and UK, it is a well-established industry. It is something you can do yourself or you can hire someone to do it for you (Life Historian or Life Writer).

So what is it and why would you do it?

Question: What is Writing my Life Story about?

Life Stories or Personal History are about your life, full of all the emotions, feelings and memories that you can recall. They incorporate descriptions of events, places and people that have contributed in some way to your life and can reveal your hopes and dreams, rejections and sorrows.

They are written in first person (I) and usually your voice and character are preserved within the text. They can be published in book form, an audio or a video. They are not usually for public distribution but are considered private for your family, friends and future generations. For this reason, they cost only a fraction of the cost of preparing your life story for public publication. 

They are also called memoirs and can be distinguished from biographies quite easily. Biographies are about events in your life and from birth to death, whilst a life story is about a slice of your life and filtered through your emotions and memory.

Personal Letter of Life Celebrations
Walk with your family and guide them with your experience

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Samples of Letter of Life Celebration

Letter of Life Celebration – Sample 1  (excerpt only)

I am the eldest of Jim and Jo Madden’s eight children. I was named after Rosemary for remembrance and it was post World War II, and Jane my great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. Whilst I never knew my great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Jones, I look like her. My great grandmother however, Elizabeth Jane May (nee Jones) has been in my soul since I was a little girl. Although our lives have been very different, I have always felt very connected to her. It isn’t because she showered me with gifts such as pretty dresses and teddy bears and watched me dance on the table when I was three, but because my basic nature is similar to hers.Continue Reading

Margaret Catchpole – a hero, a celebrity or just a woman?

Well I have finished my Margaret Catchpole memoir and totally enjoyed the efforts of Laurie Chater Forth.  Laurie and her team apparently conducted quite in-depth research to reveal a reasonable understanding of Margaret’s life. I learnt quite a deal not only about Margaret but about life for a female convict at that time, alone and with no rights as a woman or a life prisoner.

Being a writer of sorts, a nurse and a midwife and one whose life appears to be one of service, I identified with Margaret Catchpole in many respects. I doubt though that I have Margaret’s unresolved optimism and determination to continue to live a life of dedication and positive attitude, which I think she must have to achieve her popularity and good will of her community. Continue Reading