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An Occupational Tool: Life Story Work with Older People in Care Homes Amy-Jade Mitchelson Occupational Therapist.

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Presentation on theme: "An Occupational Tool: Life Story Work with Older People in Care Homes Amy-Jade Mitchelson Occupational Therapist."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Occupational Tool: Life Story Work with Older People in Care Homes Amy-Jade Mitchelson Occupational Therapist

2 My Story

3 Presentation Outline Rationale What is Life Story Work? Methods The experiences of life story work An occupational tool Summary

4 Peter Geriatric 1927 (2006) Rationale Occupational Injustice Need for Story Evidence Personal Experiences

5 Life story work uses the interplay between memory and imagination to construct a story that assists the person to locate him or herself within his or her own familys history… Gibson, 2004, p.130. What is Life Story Work?

6 Life story work is about finding out, recording and making use of relevant facts from the individual life story… Murphy, 2004, p.89.

7 What is Life Story Work? My Conceptualisation Life story work is a collaborative process, exploring a person through story, without setting out to resolve specific past or present problems but to capture stories the individual wants to share in the way, shape and form they wish

8 Methods Ethical approval Participant recruitment Life story work implementation Semi-structured interviews Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)

9 The experiences of life story work Themes: Socialisation Realisation Volition Affordance Awareness

10 Socialisation The experience of the process of developing a new relationship Mabel: Funny is that, isnt it? (laughs)…I shall be sorry not to be seeing you, thats certain…its like anything else I suppose, therell be an emptiness for so long and then itll be a happy memory I suppose, eventually…like Elsie: Well youve been a very nice person to meet; Ive enjoyed your company.

11 Realisation The experience of realising more about themselves, capabilities, feelings, impact on others Mabel. …it has made me think more about myself and (laughs) maybe find fault in myself at times, you know what I mean?...see where I might improve myself a little bit, even in my old age (laughs). Alfred: …it makes you think of lots of things which you think you have forgotten and, erm, you suddenly find you havent. They come up because you, you sort of tackle that particular period in the life…

12 Volition The reasons for participation & the impact of life story work on forming new experiences Mabel: Well Id spent all my working life being a nurse, so that was what I enjoy talking about really Alfred: No, Ive got to give a talk this week, tomorrow actually about what I did during my life, strangely enough, what I worked at, you see so as Ive written it all down once, now Im quite happy to do it again

13 Affordance The experiences of interaction with or influence on others related to life story work Alfred: Well I used it not for personal…sort of for anybody to read, I produced it for my family because I knew nothing about my mother at all except that she had three sisters…

14 Awareness Time, place and self reflections Mabel: You do look round…and you see these people here and you wonder what stories there are at the back of them you know (laughs). Alfred: If you go into the lounge there this afternoon youll find that six or seven all sat round all fast asleep…I dont go to sleep like that (laughs), I like to keep reading or something like that.

15 Qualities of Life Story Work Life Story Work IdentityRoutineCreativityMeaningPurposeParticipation Well-being & choice Collaboration

16 Summary Life story work can be an intervention to: Enable occupation, facilitating participants in doing, being and becoming – existing and interacting Promote sageing (do Rozairo, 1998) Prevent occupational disenfranchisement (French, 2002) Promote adaptation, self realisation and social independence Gain insight into humans as occupational beings and inform person centred care

17 Promoting well-being and choice Life Story Work IdentityRoutineCreativityMeaningPurposeParticipation Well-being & choice Collaboration

18 References Atkinson, R. (1998) The life story interview. London, Sage Publications. do Rozairo, L. (1998) From ageing to sageing: eldering and the art of being as occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 5 (3), pp French, G. (2002) Occupational disfranchisement in the dependency culture of a nursing home. Journal of Occupational Science, 9 (1), pp Geriatric 1927 (2006) [Online video]. Available from: [Accessed10September06].ttp://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=geriatric1927 Gibson, F. (2004) The past in the present: using reminiscence in health and social care. London, Health Professions Press, p.130. Murphy, C. (1995) This is your life. Journal of Dementia Care, March/April pp.9-11.

19 References Perrin, T. (2001) Dont despise the fluffy bunny. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64 (3), pp Tobin, S. (1991) Personhood in advanced old age. Springer, New York. Townsend, E. & Wilcock, A. (2004) Occupational justice. In: Christiansen, C. & Townsend, E. eds. Introduction to occupation: the art and science of living. New Jersey, Upper Saddle River, pp Whiteford, G. (2004) When people cannot participate: occupational deprivation. In: Christiansen, C. & Townsend, E. eds. Introduction to occupation: the art and science of living. New Jersey, Upper Saddle River, pp Wicks, A. & Whiteford, G. (2003) Value of life stories in occupation-based research. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 50, pp

20 Life Story Work: An occupational tool for promoting well-being and choice Amy-Jade Mitchelson


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