Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Easter from LifeBio!

This Easter, consider giving your loved ones the gift of memories. The Great Story & Your Story, written by Beth Sanders and Richard L. Morgan, is a Bible study that helps people share their life stories and their faith stories.

The Great Story & Your Story offers 12 weeks of engaging, relationship-building Bible study for new Christians or those already familiar with the scriptures, regardless of age. This study is also ideal for intergenerational group settings. Each week there is an opportunity to read a relevant scripture, hear the Biblical story in a new way, and listen to an example of how the passages connected to the lives of the co-authors, Dr. Richard Morgan (a retired pastor and professor, age 80+), and Beth Sanders (a female business owner, age 40+). The book challenges readers to delve into their own life experiences, lessons, joys, and struggles to find their own connection to the Great Story.

In celebration of LifeBio's 10th year of capturing life stories, save 30% on retail products now until April 5, 2010 with coupon code: SPRING during checkout. LifeBio products make GREAT GIFTS!

Volunteer Opportunities with LifeBio

LifeBio is in action in 40+ retirement communities across the U.S. and Canada. There could be a local volunteer opportunity in your area! Or maybe you'd like to spearhead a project to capture life stories of older people in your local area!

Please contact us at and we'll let you know if there are opportunities in your community.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

4 reasons to incorporate autobiography in your brain fitness program for retirement communities

Brain fitness is a key focus for senior living communities, but providing cognitive challenges is much more than crossword puzzles and trivia. It doesn't have to just be using a computer program. Today, brain fitness programs should incorporate autobiography programming for these 4 reasons.

1) Social wellness - There is nothing more complex than another human being. The brain is growing new neurons as people learn more about each other through sharing life experiences. People are thinking hard about a past experience, and they are learning to listen intently too.

2) Physical wellness - It's wonderful when the mind-body connection is explored. For example, when people walk and talk together sharing a questions such as "What is the greatest invention of your lifetime?" the brain is being stimulated, the blood is pumping, and older people have a chance to really connect. Reminiscence has been found to lower depression and physical pain too. Dr. Gene Cohen, an expert on creativity an aging, once said, "Autobiography for older adults is like chocolate for the brain."
3) Emotional wellness - Eyes are the windows to the soul. When people share their stories, they realize that they have all shared joys and challenges. Talking about these events can help people come to terms with the past and reach new understanding on what was learned and how they made it through such a difficult time.

4) Intellectual wellness - Through autobiography, people learn about themselves and they learn about each other. Perhaps they can find something meaningful to do on the computer--typing up the memories. Sometimes they are learning about someone else's work or hobbies. There are many chances to explore new information when the door is open to people's life journey and the adventures that happen along the way.   -- for communities  -- for individuals

5 outcomes from social and emotional education, emotional intelligence

When school children connect to tell and share their life stories, they experience the best form of social and emotional education. They are learning....

1) To talk with a person who is different from themselves and have empathy for that person. In some cases, they are connecting with students their own age, but other times they are connected with older adults.

2) To carry on an eye-to-eye, face-to-face conversation. This is far different from texting their friends or sharing information on Facebook.

3) To work their brain. There is nothing more complicated than another human being. This is the best form of brain fitness.

4) To be good citizens. When we really learn to listen to each other (not just hearing but truly listening) we are making a great leap forward. Our government leadership for the future needs to have people who know how listen to each other and make compromises.

5) To be open to emotions. When people share their life experience, it is common for joys and challenges to be discussed. These conversations are many times accompanied by laughter and tears. Children who can face emotions and be emotional themselves will be ahead of their peers in the long run. Without conversation, emotions can be locked inside and cause pain and depression.

Schools that move toward excellence in social and emotional education will be truly preparing their students for the future. The future requires creativity, conversation, connection, and knowing and loving each other. Capturing life stories can be a very relevant experience for students. This will make the school a better place and impact the community at large in a great way.

To find great resources for intergenerational, oral history experiences in the classroom, call 1-866-543-3246 or visit

Friday, March 19, 2010

5 new ideas from the American Society on Aging Conference

Learned a lot this week at the ASA conference and met some interesting organizations and people I thought I would share. provides free tools, resources, and community to help manage long term care. provides automatic fall detection, emergency response, and activity monitoring -- all in one system. provides an incredible catalog of products for Boomers and beyond. Unique products for older people's needs. - amazing non-profit that retrofits older adult's homes. Like Habitat for Humanity but focused on helping low income, older people to stay in their homes. Amazing!

The conference was very focused on caregiving this year. Gail Sheehy did an amazing job and she has a new book, Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

LifeBio Receives Award

LifeBio was recently named the 2009 Union County Small Business of the Year! LifeBio has had a profound impact on Union County, as well as communities throughout the country and internationally. To date, LifeBio has helped nearly 20,000 people rediscover and share their life stories.

The Union County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award recognizes the most influentual company in Union County with fewer than 50 employees that strives to improve the quality of life in Union County by providing jobs and investments in our various communities.

Thank you to all LifeBio patrons and supporters! We could not have achieved this great feat without you!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from LifeBio! Whether you are of Irish decent or not, you may have family traditions surrounding the holiday that date back generations. If not, why not start one today? Some of the most treasured memories are those surrounding holiday celebrations with loved ones. Cook a traditional Irish meal for your family or visit your local Irish pub with a few close friends. It's traditions like these that make us unique and special.

I've recorded my memories of my favorite holiday traditions and celebrations in my Memory Journal, as so should you! When I pass down my autobiography to my children, and my children's children, I am confident that they will get to know me for who I really am--my beliefs, values, traditions, and so on--which goes much deeper than information about my genealogy. Do your children know how you celebrated St. Patrick's Day when you were a kid? Did your grandmother make a traditional dinner or teach you a special jig? Preserve your memories for your loved ones today!

Attributes of great leaders

Be like Steve Jobs, Bill Campbell, and Andy Grove.

Entrepreneurship and New Career Opportunities in the Boomer Market: ASA Conference

Mark Willaman did a great job summarizing a panel I was on today at the ASA Conference.
Read Mark Willaman's blog

Mary Furlong encouraged us all to embrace the incredible opportunities for developing products and services for the aging population. The growth of social media and low startup costs make this the perfect time to begin or expand. She encouraged people to attend Friday's Boomer Summit to learn a lot more about the market opportunities.

Here's some great entrepreneurship advice from Mark Willaman from
  • Be patient and think long term.
  • Buy time by outsourcing tasks.
  • Win with "B" players. You'll have better retention if you offer a flexible and virtual workplace.
  • On partnerships, do a few and work them hard.
  • Scalability - always look for annuity cash flow.
  • Manage worry--it's a silent killer of businesses
  • Go for it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

7 tips for writing your autobiography

1. Choose creating a legacy as a life goal. Set a deadline for when you’d like the first edition of your story finished (you can always add the next chapter of your life's journey later). A deadline, like an upcoming holiday, can be a strong motivator to keep you going through the process.

2. Decide what structure you want or what template of questions you’ll use (especially if you feel like you're not interested in looking at a blank sheet of paper or blank computer screen).

3. Find a friend or a group, if you like, with whom you can share the process. You can be an encouragement to each other. It’s fun to share what you’ve written. You don't know what you don't know about each other!

4. Pull out the photo albums. The pictures will generate so many memories. Start jotting down what stories come to mind from the photos…things you want to be sure to share in your autobiography.

5. Make a list of other favorite stories you like to tell. Call your family members and tell them that you’re writing your life story and you want to know what they want to know. Add that to your list.

6. Answer at least one question a day. After you finish writing or typing your answer(s) for that day, read the question(s) for the next day and give yourself a day to ponder it over. Ask a friend what their answer would be. By the next day, you’ll be ready to write.

7. Do the best you can…and keep going. Don’t let one question stop you. You can always skip to the next one or avoid whole topics if you wish. Your legacy is important -- your family and friends will be so grateful for this fascinating story that only YOU can share.

Beth Sanders

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

LifeBio Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary!

LifeBio, the nation’s leading autobiography and legacy company is celebrating its tenth anniversary!
Since opening on March 6, 2000, LifeBio has helped nearly 20,000 people tell their life stories. LifeBio enables people of all ages to have a private place to share life stories, upload pictures and create customized memory books using, the Memory Journal and various autobiographical tools and services.

Our national and international success would not be possible without the continued support of our valued customers. Thank you! To show our appreciation, we are offering 30% off the Lifetime LifeBio Membership Package for a limited time only. Just enter the coupon code LIFE10 at checkout.

We will host an open house Thursday, March 11, 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at LifeBio headquarters in Uptown Marysville, Ohio, 232 N. Main St., Suite 2J. If you live in the area, feel free to stop by and help us celebrate! To learn more about LifeBio, please visit

5 tips for conducting an oral history interview

1. Don't delay and don't talk yourself out of it. It's time to capture your loved one's story in print, on video, via audio, or writing via the web. Your loved one's life story is far more interesting than you can ever imagine. The oral history interview is key for genealogy research.

2. Find the story behind the 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 favorite memories through pictures. Pick the ones that are really funny or the ones where his or her 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 your relative. You can always ask questions over the phone or email that tech-savvy person 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.

5. Smile a lot and speak up. Your loved ones 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--especially for your ongoing genealogy research. You can help them do something important by capturing the priceless gift of life stories for all time. It might just change both of your lives.

Beth Sanders, founder,

*Photo by Jon Wisbey

5 tips for writing an autobiography

When you are starting to consider writing your life story, here are a few tips that will help you get started.

1. Remember there is no one else like you. Only YOU can share your life experiences and memories. Therefore, your autobiography is worth doing. The only way the story will be told is if you tell it.

2. Structure is good. Having an autobiography template to use as you are getting started will be very helpful. You may leave out important parts of your story if you don't have a plan in your mind of what to write. Having questions to answer, will allow you to focus on the memories---keeping you from staring at a blank sheet of paper or blank computer screen.

3. Use photos to help you capture life stories. Going back through photo albums will bring to mind many events that have been long forgotten.

4. Bring up topics from your life story when you talk with family or friends by phone or in person. You'll enjoy taking in a few more memories from their perspective and it will prime the pump of your own memories too.

5. See the process as something you are doing for YOU. Of course, it is a great idea to provide your life story to your children and grandchildren, but the life review process also helps you see the "big picture" of your life. Through looking back and seeing your accomplishments, joys, and pains, you can gain new strength for the future. The road of life is an adventure so learn from the past, enjoy the present, and plan for the future.

Beth Sanders, founder and CEO,

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Benefits of Reminiscing

A seemingly simple process, reminiscence, has been found to have a profound impact on the mental and physical health of individuals, as well as for those who share these memories with the person who is reminiscing.

According to the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, reminiscing or “life review” has the following benefits:
  • Resolution of old conflicts
  • Personality reorganization
  • Restoration of meaning in the individual's life
  • Increased social connections with others
The reminiscence process has also been shown to help reduce pain, stress and depression.

Regardless of age or stage of life, we all have memories to share. LifeBio’s extensive line of reminiscence products and services help you capture your life story and the life stories of loved ones by following an autobiography template, as well as through the Memory Journal, LifeBio Recording Kit, and many other legacy sharing tools.

LifeBio Launches Road of Life Adventure Tour

In celebration of our tenth anniversary, LifeBio is launching the Road of Life Adventure Tour. During the national campaign, I will make it my mission to capture as many life stories as possible by interviewing subjects and teaching them how to write their autobiographies or the biographies of loved ones.

I will travel to meet older people to record life stories using LifeBio’s video recording tools and journals to encourage ordinary Americans to capture their EXTRAORDINARY life stories. The road of life is an adventure and every day we have people, places and events just waiting to be shared in our life stories.

The tour will begin in Ohio, and I will gradually make my way around the U.S. over the course of our entire anniversary year. Stay tuned for further updates! Maybe I'll have the opportunity to interview YOU during the Road of Life Adventure.

Rediscover your life story today with LifeBio's easy-to-use autobiography template, the Memory Journal and other revolutionary reminiscence tools!