Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Writing Your Autobiography is the Beginning - Not the End!

biography, autobiography, share, story

It’s Time to Tell Your Story!

Have you ever considered writing your autobiography?  Or has someone ever said to you, “You know, you should really write a book!”?  Perhaps you are at the opposite end of the spectrum, and the thought has never even crossed your mind before.  Well, no matter who you are, or what walk of life you come from – it’s time to tell your story!

Who?  Me?

Yes!  Everyone has a story to tell. 
autobiography, biography, share, story
The unique people, places, and events of your life have all come together to make you the “one-of-a-kind” individual sitting there in front of that screen today.  Wouldn’t you love to have a document that was written by your parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent?  To be able to walk a mile in their shoes, experience what their daily routine was, and discover how they came to their most important life decisions?  Well, your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren want to know these things about YOU.  You see, your unique perspective on your family, on life, on historical events and how they impacted you is important.  All of us need to share these relevant facts.

Valuable Life Lessons

What is important to you?  REALLY think about this for a moment.  How do you convey these important messages to your family and loved ones?  All too often, we are so mired in the minutiae of daily life that we don’t talk about the BIG STUFF – you know, the really important beliefs and ideals that we want to pass along; the legacy we want to leave behind.  It has nothing to do with who gets the china set or the silverware or the portrait of Uncle George that hangs in the hallway.  These are the things inside your heart that matter the very most, and of which there is no physical remnant – UNLESS YOU PURPOSEFULLY CREATE ONE.

What’s In It For Me?

autobiography, biography, share, story
For starters, sharing your stories is just plain fun!  Remembering the good times when you were a kid, recollecting your favorite holiday, talking about a beloved pet, or a special teacher… well, the list could just go on and on!  Sure, there are the stories you’ve told your family before.  But as you DIG DEEPER, you soon discover the true treasure trove – a wealth of untold stories!  On the flip side, life ain’t always so great.  There are trials and tribulations in every life.  Sharing how you overcame these life obstacles serves as a wonderful teaching tool.  If you overcame this difficult patch, so too, can others.  This is the hope that you can give to others.  In addition, it helps you to be reminded that through it all, you survived.  You went on to accomplish much in your life – and this is a powerfully healing truth. 

I Don’t Know Where to Start

Truly, taking the first step is the hardest part.  Once you do, however, you will find that the process is truly EASY and enjoyable.  There are several paths to creating your autobiography.  Fortunately, www.LifeBio.com offers these options for your consideration:

1)       Journaling.  Do you enjoy putting pen to paper?  If so, writing your autobiography using one of our journals is the perfect choice for you.  With options ranging from the simple Life Story Guide, to the Life Story Journal, to the comprehensive Memory Journal, you are certain to find one which suits your needs ideally.

2)      Online.  You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use our simple online platform!  Just create a user name and password, and you are ready to see your story unfold.  Inside our website, you have many options – you may create a daily journal, choose from a wide variety of specifically guided story outlines, or complete a FULL biography.  Each section prompts you with a question, which you may answer in as much detail as you choose.  You can even upload favorite photos, share recipes or family trees – and so much more!  Plus, our staff is always available to assist you – we are only a phone call away!

3)      Personal Biographer.  This service is priced to be budget friendly!  LifeBio is on a mission to make story telling as easy – and affordable – as we possibly can.  Therefore, we offer a very basic per hour pricing structure that allows you to control how much (or how little) you want to spend.  Our personal biographers are gentle, kind, and professional – not to mention excellent listeners!  If you choose this option, you may tell your story over the phone, and your personal biographer will then type it up FOR YOU!

In addition to all of the above, personalized leather-bound books may be ordered to further compliment and preserve your story!

Let’s Get Started!


Friday, July 21, 2017

"We Need to Talk" - All About Reminiscence Therapy

Reminiscence Therapy?  What the Heck Is That?
Reminiscence Therapy

For thousands of years, people have shared stories around the campfire, the hearth, and the kitchen table.  We human beings are practically pre-programmed to enjoy telling and sharing our stories.   Taken in its simplest form, Reminiscence Therapy (or RT) is recalling and discussing the people, places, and events that shaped us.  More than merely retelling the same old story, however, Reminiscence Therapy delves deeper and is used as a therapeutic tool that improves mood, reduces the use of pharmacological interventions, and improves quality of life.  Plus, it’s fun!

But… Is Reminiscence Therapy a Good Fit for ME?

The answer is a resounding YES!  Reminiscence Therapy is good for EVERYONE and can be used with anyone!  After all, everyone has a story – even if you don’t think so.  Your life is like a book with many chapters, and your life experiences are worth sharing.  No one on this planet is exactly like you – no one has lived the life you have lived.  As you share and recall your stories, many wonderful memories will come flooding back.  Conversely, there are times when memories can be difficult or even painful.  The key is to share these moments with an engaged and attentive listener, someone who can help you frame these events as one part of the larger picture of your life. 

How Does It Work?

It all starts with a question… but often not the question you would normally think to ask!  Reminiscence Therapy goes far beyond the weather, your local sports team, or what you’d like for dinner.  Engagement is key when it comes to RT.  When you are discussing the important details of your life, the listener needs to maintain a positive attitude and exhibit a genuine interest in hearing more about this amazing person in front of them.  Asking open-ended questions and utilizing personal mementos (photographs, keepsakes, etc.) makes the conversation more productive.   Reminiscence Therapy may be conducted in one-on-one sessions or in a group setting.  It is most important to discover what is most comfortable for the person sharing.  Feeling completely free to be open and honest – and even somewhat vulnerable – is key to a successful session.

I Want to Connect on a Deeper Level

If you are seeking to assist a patient or resident, or if you simply want to get to know a loved one on a deeper level, Reminiscence Therapy is the perfect tool.  You may think that you know all there is to know about this person – but do you really?  Reminiscence Therapy is learning the difference between:

I grew up during the Depression.


I was born in 1934.  As a child, I never knew that we were poor.  We had everything we needed – we grew our own vegetables and chickens, and we had bees, too.  There was a grape arbor in the lot next door.  My family was so loving, plus the whole neighborhood was in the same boat we were!  Everyone looked out for one another, and because of that, I felt rich!

Digging deeper provides a more poignant, complex version of the same story, and these specific and unique details bring back the memories in technicolor detail to the storyteller.  Feeling acknowledged in this manner leads to greater cooperation, and a deeper bond.

Utilizing Reminiscence Therapy in Special Circumstances

Reminiscence Therapy is an especially potent tool when assisting persons with memory loss or dementia.  This population may have a difficult time recalling a conversation they had just this morning, but ask about a specific event from their past, and you will likely hear a very vivid tale recalled with loving precision.  Knowing this information assists you in knowing what is important to this person – or conversely what might be a “hot button” topic to be avoided.  In this type of care setting, you want to provide your loved one or resident with the best possible quality of life.  Understanding them and how they became the person they are can assist you in creating a person-centered care plan based on what matters most to them.

I’m Interested – Where Do I Begin?

Help is available for communities and individuals seeking to learn more and utilize Reminiscence Therapy.  For over 15 years, www.LifeBio.com has been the industry leader in capturing and sharing life stories.  With products ranging from journals, an on-line platform, and interviews with personal biographers, LifeBio has the right tool to assist you in developing your own Reminiscence Therapy program.  LifeBio captures life stories – promoting deep engagement, igniting feelings of purpose, reducing loneliness, and increasing emotional and spiritual wellbeing.  Story is a powerful connector, and EVERYONE benefits when each unique story is known and utilized.  LifeBio has options that are ideal for individuals, CCRCs, assisted living/memory care, long-term care providers, hospice, home care, adult day centers, hospitals, wellness centers, university programs, and more. 

Contact us to learn more:  


Monday, July 10, 2017

Reminiscence Therapy in Action in Senior Living and Nursing Homes

Reminiscence Therapy in Action

Take Advantage of LifeBio in All Areas of Campus

Reminiscence Therapy increases happiness and satisfaction with life, as evidence from LifeBio's study with Iowa State University proved. LifeBio also increases feelings of purpose and meaning. Interestingly, a recent Harvard study found that increased purpose reduces hospitalizations. Lessening loneliness also has major health benefits.

Here are ways that LifeBio adapts to various areas:  

SKILLED NURSING - Do you wish you had more volunteers engaged with your residents? College students are getting credit at Youngstown State University for working with residents at Park Vista, an Ohio Living community. This next semester over 30 students will be engaged there!    VOLUNTEERS ENGAGED IN REMINISCENCE THERAPY

Person-Centered Care Planning (483.21) – LifeBio’s 1-page profiles (Life Story Summaries) become the first page of the care plan, while increasing respect and dignity (Resident Rights 483.10). The "Story" belongs in the EHR, and LifeBio makes sure this is rich, accurate, and complete. Our Story Team ensures a professional, finished bio for each participant for photos and stories. For memory care, the new behavioral health regulation (483.40) is specific to personalizing care for people with dementia, while reducing drug use.    

MEMORY CARE - LifeBio's Personal Biographers interview family members of your memory care residents by phone (a permission/referral form is signed to initiate this). We spend approximately 45 minutes digging in to learn the deeper information about the person's school, work, family, accomplishments, and more. Personalize care plans by knowing more about the person's past likes and interests, while understanding more to reduce stress and misunderstandings. Nursing staff can SEE and USE the 1-page Life Story Summary in a beautiful and professional way, and the resident receives their own Life Story Book. Deliver on brand promises to deeply know each person's background and unique life story.  MemoryBio is also provided as a photo-based way (200 photos and simple questions) to engage people with dementia. 

ASSISTED LIVING - Whether it is a phone interview with one of LifeBio's Personal Biographers or a small group LifeBio class, assisted living residents love Reminiscence Therapy, telling their amazing life stories, and creating a lasting legacy. This is an excellent time to learn more about neighbors and become closer friends.  Check out the results from St. John's in Rochester, New York! Notice that they open up their LifeBio class to the community at large!  125 PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN THE CLASS SO FAR! READ MORE 

INDEPENDENT LIVING / WELLNESS INITIATIVES - Tech savvy independent living residents are setting up their own LifeBio web/app accounts as a result of the LifeBio program and working independently on their own stories (video recording in the iOS app).  In some communities, 6-12 week LifeBio 101 classes "kickstart" the biography process and build relationships, like a current engaging, fascinating class happening at Moorings Park in Naples, Florida. After the group class, LifeBio's Story Team works with the community and resident to FINISH the person's Life Story Book in a beautiful and professional way.  

Reminiscence Therapy supports ALL dimensions of wellbeing, especially emotional, vocational, intellectual, social, and spiritual wellbeing. 

In campuses with multiple areas of care, it makes sense to have the story FOLLOW the person through the years, making new memories as each day is a new adventure! 

Love to connect!  Please call LifeBio at 937-303-4576 or email info@lifebio.com.  Ready to bring LifeBio to your community/organization?          



Friday, July 07, 2017

Music Therapy and LifeBio Reminiscence Therapy - A Lovely Pairing!

Reminiscence Therapy

Board Certified Music Therapist Natalie Spencer
uses the LifeBio Story Journal in sessions with her students
to connect on a deeper level.

Today’s story comes to us courtesy of Board Certified Music Therapist Natalie Spencer of Moorings Park.  Natalie found that she was having challenges coming up with ideas to stimulate meaningful conversation with some of her participants during their sessions.  She mentioned this to the Director of Wellness, Celeste Lynch, who suggested that Natalie consider using the LifeBio Reminiscence Therapy program with her Music Therapy sessions. 

Natalie shares…  LifeBio and Music Therapy have been a lovely pairing!  Together, LifeBio and Music Therapy are not only providing needed cognitive stimulation and healthy socialization opportunities, but also allowing opportunities for success and pride in accomplishments.  Using the music to validate shared memories and experiences has proven to be really poignant. Sometimes hearing an ‘old song’ will elicit memories that the person hasn’t thought of or had the chance to share for a long time.

The way that the LifeBio booklet is laid out makes life review and reminiscence very straight-forward and simple, which pairs quite well with Music Therapy for cognitive stimulation and maintenance of memory. I have started using the LifeBio booklet with three independent living residents at Moorings Park so far and everyone seems to be enjoying the process! I think it will be an extra special treat once we finish our sessions and they are able to have a finished copy of their life story; it’s a beautiful way to validate experiences, and adding the music for additional stimulation and support has worked beautifully!”

Recently, Natalie worked with resident Rose L.  Here is her story:

“My name is Rose. I am the very loving daughter in a close-knit Italian family from Massachusetts. My father bravely moved to America when he was 17 to seek a better life and eventually became a landlord and a tailor.  After the tragic and unexpected death of my mother while I was a teen, my father and I relied on each other to find comfort, and to learn how to cook and maintain the household for ourselves.  I met my husband (with whom my father was very pleased!), and we are still married to this day.

Rose and her husband on their wedding day.

We are now the proud parents of two sons, and the proud grandparents of two grandsons.  These days my husband and I reside in Naples, Florida, where we are both happily involved in many exercise-based and social eventsincluding the Music Therapy program led by Natalie Spencer!”  -- Rose L.

WOW!  We here at LifeBio are so honored and humbled every day as we help people tell their stories.  It is such a privilege to us to help both individuals and communities SHARE WHAT MATTERS MOST.

Are you ready to tell YOUR story?  Interested in learning more about using LifeBio for your family or in a community setting?  Contact us! 


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