Updated: Apr 7
Leave a Legacy for Future Generations - Create a Life Book!
Engage Care Partner's Memory Catchers and Story Tellers Program works with your loved one to capture the stories, advice, favorite recipes, messages of faith, and inspiration your loved ones want to instill in future generations to come.
Most people tend to panic when we think about our loved ones losing their memories and the many stories that will go with them. One of the most important things we can capture are the stories and the legacy we want to leave our loved ones.
Life Books are hard bound books that are specifically about your loved one. They are significant for three reasons:
They allow you to capture the items about your loved one in a a durable book that can be shared with staff or any caregivers who may not have known your loved one prior to them losing their memory. This allows the staff member to connect more deeply with your loved one by having a history that can be tailored to minimize distress and incorporate into their care.
They are a keepsake for your loved one that they can visit and revisit time and time again to offer comfort when times are unsettling, or they are no longer at home.
They can be a starting point to develop additional materials for building narratives to preserve legacies and create treasures for future generations, as well as a resource for end-of-life materials.
The Life Book, honoring your loved one's past life activities of great meaningfulness, creates a framework for caregivers extending respect via activity-focused care. Connections are made with the joys of the past as they bring respect to today. Family members, friends, staff and the clients themselves find in the book experiences of love, comfort, honor, security and pride. The Life Book extends the warm invitation to all persons to come together for the celebration of your loved one's unique life gifts.
Your loved one's emotional memory and memories from the past are usually retained long into the progression of dementia. Therefore, the goals of the Life Book as indicators of the Life Affirmation include the following:
Emotional support and security, plus a tool, if needed for refocusing mood and difficult behaviors
Promotion of holistic well-being, validation of life's journey, celebration of one's uniqueness and an encouragement of reminiscing
Opportunities for pride: adapting a Life Story for focusing on today's abilities, not difficulties, and for enhancing self-esteem
A look at personal history for connecting to today and the present precious moments (e.g., family background, traditions, customs, work experiences, hobbies, educational background)
A frame of reference for daily living (e.g., personalization of care, overall living style, dressing preferences, favorite foods, tasks performed at work or home)
Encouragement for meaningful activity and shared connections (e.g., enabling focus, increasing attention span, prompting verbal and nonverbal exchanges, promoting sequencing abilities, creating possibilities for a good laugh, increasing socialization opportunities and skills)
The overall goal for staff is increased sensitivity and understanding as they learn about the client's life history and the ability to apply the information to the current caregiving experience.
The cost of services will depend on the amount of time that is needed to produce the materials. Life Books have two options:
Clients can gather the materials themselves and submit all content and photos for layout and production saving time and creating greater efficiencies for the overall process
Or, they can choose a personal interview approach with hands-on assistance of gathering any photos or other materials that should be included in the book
In addition to offering Life Books, Engage Care Partners can expand upon those services to include biographies, picture books, obituaries, eulogies and more.
All services begin at $40 per hour. Production for books is generally under $500 depending on length and number of copies desired. We can work to stay within a budget you set.
Engage Care Partners, LLC is a small consulting business that offers care navigation and support to all who are diagnosed with Parkinson's, Lewy Body Dementia or Alzheimer's in the Greater Birmingham and Shelby County areas of Alabama. To learn more about how you can put together your own Life Book, Contact us at 1.205.843.1908, or email us at email@example.com.