Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oral History Projects or Autobiography Projects in Libraries

We're hearing from libraries that are seeking ways to capture the life stories of the older members of the community. Libraries are the perfect setting for oral history projects. There can be autobiography classes or online autobiography licenses on writing life stories. There are great ways that intergenerational projects can happen in libraries as well.

For example, youth can help create Storyboards (an 18 x 24 colorful posterboard that can be populated with stories and photos) or fill out the Life Story Guide for older people. Again, the local library is a great setting for bringing people of all ages together for recording life stories. Even video recording using the first iPad app for video recording (download LifeBio Studio from the Apple App Store to try it out) can be employed to help libraries create simple but powerful videos of the older members of the community, and younger people can help with the recording. License agreements are available to make LifeBio available community wide. 

Autobiography is a natural extension of the work that libraries do with genealogy and family history projects. Libraries are also the perfect place to store the stories gathered for safe keeping now and in the future. In fact, we see a "legacy library" of hardcover books  (see the Legacy Book that is created by LifeBio pictured in this post) of community members' life stories being archived in libraries across the country and around the world. We encourage libraries to seek grant money and we have the tools to make it easier to bridge together the generations and promote better communication. After all, everyone has a story! Everyone could really write a book!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Finishing the Race

My daughter ran in a cross country race this weekend. I was there cheering her on, but I noticed that her face said something was wrong. She wasn't physically in pain, yet something wasn't quite right. I kept cheering away from four different locations around the course. She finished the race with her personal record -- 22:09. Twenty two minutes and nine seconds in a 3.1 race. A very good time for sure! When she finished, she told me to look at her feet. There it was -- one red sneaker on one foot and one light green sock on the other. On the first turn of the race, another racer had stepped on the back of her sneaker by mistake and it came off. She had run at least 2.5 miles with just one shoe on. In fact, during the race, she had passed her shoe three times, but she didn't slow down or stop to pick it up. She just kept running. She didn't miss a beat. Nothing stopped her from reaching her goal. That's my girl!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Living in a Norman Rockwell painting

Sometimes living in Marysville, Ohio is like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. Yesterday was one of those days. It was the annual Homecoming Parade which began with the marching band in red, white, and blue (my daughter was playing her trombone) followed by the homecoming court, the football players, the cheerleaders, then the junior sports teams (including my son's football team). The streets of downtown are lined with the old brick buildings that Germans built when they settled here in the 1800s. Families lined the street and little children gathered more candy than they will probably get Trick or Treating. My dog and I stood there watching the parade with my friends next to the barber shop and across the street from the old movie theater. It was a perfect fall day -- not too hot, not too cold, overcast but not raining. It's one of those days that Norman Rockwell would have loved to paint. I'll have to record it in the "sweet memory" category in my mind.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Top 3 client gifts for 2011, thoughtful gifts from financial advisors to their clients

With the holidays right around the corner, what are some thoughtful, meaningful gifts you can give to your clients? Whether you are a financial planner, estate attorney, or insurance salesperson, you are seeking the best gifts to give to clients. Your clients have lived fascinating lives--running businesses, leading in the community, enjoying their children and grandchildren through the years. As an advisor to your clients, you are concerned about your clients financial legacy and their family legacy too.

Give gifts that have meaning. Give gifts that will be used long after the holidays. Here are 3 gift ideas to consider.

1) Memory Journal - 250 questions in a fill-in-the-blank 6 x 9 inch format. Beautiful, quality hardcover book for anyone to use to journal their lives so far....with plenty of room to keep writing as life continues to unfold!

2) Life Story Journal - 72 questions in a 8.5 x 11 sized workbook (paperback with coil binding). Some "warm up" questions that will be fun to discuss with your clients. Ample space to write.

3) LifeBio.com Membership - online autobiography template with all the questions found in the Memory Journal. For that "tech-savvy" customer OR for your clients' children and grandchildren. Get the whole family involved and collaborating on a parent or grandparent life story.

Reminiscence Therapy, Dr. Robert Butler

Dr. Robert Butler, who passed away July 4, 2010, is credited with the idea that reminiscing could be therapeutic. Butler, a psychiatrist with a specialty in geriatric medicine, first spoke of the idea of a "life review" in the 1960s. At the time, psychiatrists did not think it was a good idea for people to always be "living in the past", but Butler disagreed and made it clear that reminiscence was a natural process of healthy aging.

Reminiscence therapy covers a number of topics. Sometimes it is done in a group but people can do it one-on-one as well. There is a great deal of flexibility in the approach, but people typically describe...
The people who shaped their lives & their family members
Childhood memories and how history changed their lives
Transitions at different points of life
Love, marriage, children, grandchildren
The joys and challenges through the years

The #1 reason people reminisce is to teach and inform, but through reminiscence people can be reminded of their accomplishments, set some goals for the future, and come to terms with the past. Reminiscence therapy has also been found to lower depression and increase feelings of happiness, especially in older populations.

The relationships that form through reminiscence therapy can be another excellent outcome.
Tools for reminiscence therapy...
Life Story Journal
Memory Journal

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Mayo Clinic article explains the importance of life stories for people with dementia

LifeBio has been working with the Mayo Clinic for the past couple of years providing our Life Story Journals for people with early-stage Alzheimer's to capture their stories and memories. Read in this article as Dr. Glenn Smith describes the importance of connecting and recording what matters most.