Friday, August 28, 2009

5 Tips for Interviewing Grandparents, Write an Autobiography

1. Don't delay and don't talk yourself out of it. It's time to capture your grandparents' life stories in print, on video, via audio, or writing via the web. Grandparents' life stories are far more interesting than you can ever imagine. Really and truly, your own parents can tell you things that no one else can share. Avoid regrets and a feeling of loss by making sure you've captured their life stories before it's too late.

2. Find the story behind their pictures. A great place to start is to review an old photo album together. Record what they say about a few of their favorite pictures. You aren't going to have time to get the story behind every picture, but you can get a few of grandma's favorite memories or grandpa's favorite memories through pictures. Pick the ones that are really funny or the ones where their eyes light up as they tell the tale. A picture is worth 1,000 words.

3. Structure is good. You will probably be glad you did your homework and you know what you want to ask when you get together with grandma or grandpa. You can always ask questions over the phone or email that tech-savvy parent with your questions. LifeBio's structure for example would have you ask about people in their lives, childhood memories and historical events, the real world of adulthood, and end with values, beliefs, life lessons, and more.

4. Pick a quiet place for an interview. If you are planning to use a video camera, you'll want to pick a quiet spot free of distractions for interviewing mom. If you are interviewing dad and the phone rings or someone walks in the room, it just takes away from the video. Post a sign on the door--do not disturb. Test your equipment and test the spot where you are recording. You want the video to show up well with the lighting in the room. LifeBio's Video Recording Kit may be something you want to consider because it includes our Guide to Interviewing and Recording and all the equipment you'll need.

5. Smile a lot and speak up. Grandma and grandpa want to know that you are glad to be recording their stories. Also, be sure you are speaking loudly and clearly so you don't have to repeat questions. Mumbling is not a good idea when you are the interviewer. Have confidence in yourself and make sure they know how much you want these life stories told. You can help them do something important by capturing mom's life stories or dad's life stories for all time. This is a priceless gift to both of you--and it just might change your life!

Writing an autobiography has never been easier

How to write an autobiography? How do I write my life story? Well, it's not as tough as you might think. You can certainly do it yourself. You just need to know what to ask. Here are five sample questions to prime the pump of your memories. You can start TODAY.

5 Sample Questions for Writing an Autobiography

1) Describe your town, neighborhood, and the environment around your childhood home.
2) Tell about your childhood friends and your favorite things to play. Describe a favorite hiding place or place to be alone.
3) Do you have a special hobby such as woodworking, gardening, painting, or something else? Why do you enjoy doing this? Do you share this hobby with anyone close to you?
4) What is the best part of your day?
5) What are your secrets for living the good life?

So that's just the beginning.... but take a look at if you'd like more great ideas on how to write an autobiography. We have a fantastic autobiography template just waiting for YOU!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Masterpiece Living - excellent resource to encourage successful aging/wellness

Successful Aging - -- 70% of physical aging is determined by lifestyle... the choices we make every day.

Benefits of Reminiscence for Memory Care

This white paper will summarize the large body of research documenting the effects of reminiscence with older adults. These studies reveal that reminiscence is effective for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Objects are particularly useful in bringing back powerful memories. Life stories are also creating new conversations and bonds between families, staff, volunteers, students while leading to a higher sense of purpose and meaning for elders.

Benefits of Reminiscence for Culture Change/Person-Centered Care

This white paper will summarize the large body of research documenting the effects of reminiscence especially with older people in retirement community settings. These studies reveal that recalling and sharing life stories has the power to lower depression, exercise the brain, and engage those with dementia. Life stories are also creating new conversations and bonds between families, staff, volunteers, students while leading to a higher sense of purpose and meaning for elders.

Check out LifeBio's new COMMUNITY page

Retirement communities, senior centers, assisted living, skilled nursing are all fantastic places for LifeBio to be in action. Promoting innovation, wellness, brain fitness, and the importance of building relationships at any age! Autobiography for everyone!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

LifeBio Story of the Month - Mary Coombs

Grandmother and granddaughter connect long distance to discover each other with the help of LifeBio. Read more about Mary and her granddaughter, J.D.

It's time to interview mom or dad, grandma or grandpa with LifeBio. YOUR family members are unique and writing an autobiography or writing a biography is something that LifeBio makes easy. When are you going to get started? Don't delay.

Writing your life story is easier than every before.

LifeBio: Benefits for Retirement Communities, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing

LifeBio works with dozens of communities and chains of retirement communities to help in the following ways....
1. Attracting new residents and their families, showing your commitment to personalized service and care.
2. Making culture change happen through developing stronger relationships and more person-centered individualized activities (F-248)
3. Forming great friendships between new and existing residents.
4. Improving staff morale by building stronger relationships with residents.
5. Reducing loneliness by involving adult volunteers and younger generations with a meaningful and fun structure for visits.
6. Providing a heartfelt gift of the resident's life story to give to loved ones.
7. Delivering resources to make telling your community's story easier--through the stories of your amazing residents. Publicity abounds!