What is it like creating a memory book for older people such as a Teacup LifeStory Book?
The process of making a memory book for older people like a Teacup LifeStory Book can have important therapeutic benefits, as well as producing a lovely hardback book.
More than just a memory book for older people
Recently we were sent this letter from one of our Teacup LifeStory Book customers, Angela.
In it Angela also describes how useful the book was for sharing information about her mother Elizabeth when she moved in to a care home.
She says the family also found it useful as a way of continuing to engage with Elizabeth as time went on.
Here is Angela’s letter in full:
“My mother Elizabeth lived with dementia. Occupational Therapist Heather worked with my mother on a number of sessions and chatted to her about her life. She really enjoyed re-living and re-counting her memories, and by doing this she also remembered some things that I thought were long forgotten.
“Mother chose accompanying photographs and then they were put together into a beautiful book that can be passed down the generations.
“I didn’t realise it at the time, but that book was to become extremely important on my mother’s journey through dementia. It jogged her memory when sitting looking through it together with the carer who helped mother with her morning routine at home. The carer said that it was really helpful in getting to know my mother and she then felt able to chat to her about things that were meaningful to her.
“When my mother moved into a care home, the carers used the book to find out about the life that mother had lived, in different parts of the world. It enabled them to sit my mother alongside another lady with a similar background …and they would chat about those days in the Far East. The Activity Facilitator used the information in the book as the basis for my mother’s Activity Plan.
“When the younger generation of the family visited their Granny in the care home, they would enjoy sitting with Granny and looking through the book together. When Granny was no longer able to tell the stories they would read it aloud to her. When my mother was at the end of her life it was really helpful to know her favourite music, and favourite aromas so that the care home could promote these aspects in between family visits.
“How useful that book of my mothers life turned out to be, and now we have it as a wonderful record of her life. Thank You Heather.
“Written in memory of my mother Elizabeth.”Angela, Bath
Thank you to Angela for sharing this with us and allowing us to share with everyone else.
Making a Teacup LifeStory Book is more than just recording memories and pictures in a memory book for older people.
Our therapy combines formal LifeStory work and principles of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy. Outputs of the sessions provide the narrative content for Teacup LifeStory Books.
About Cognitive Stimulation Therapy
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is an approach where brain cells are exercised in an enjoyable and relaxed environment. In the traditional sense – often in a small group setting – it includes reminiscence, giving opinions, listening to music, singing, quizzes and games. It was designed following extensive evaluation of research evidence and is widely recommended as an evidence-based treatment for those living with dementia.
Our sessions draw upon ‘reminiscence’ Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and follow a tried-and-tested approach to gathering an individuals unique story. Chatting through your life helps to jog memory cells, keep up communication skills, and often provides some laughter recalling amusing anecdotes. Your Memory Guide won’t mind if you can’t remember everything or can’t find the right words. They have the skills to understand you no matter what.
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy is widely used in the NHS as a treatment to help people live well with dementia.
If you have questions about the process of making a Teacup LifeStory Book, get in touch and one of our Memory Guides will be happy to explain.