“I do feel like this project has enabled all of us to really celebrate my mother. To me, that’s what this is all about, and to really recognize what she’s passed on to us and celebrate that in ourselves. It was a meaningful process and my mother feels affirmed and validated,” states Judy Wiesenberg-Neiman after helping her mother complete her story.
Our new program, Celebrating My Life, was introduced to Sholom Home senior living residents and hospice patients in 2012. Staff and volunteers were trained as Legacy Navigators to help participants write and share their Life Reflection Stories and Legacy Letters for their loved ones and community. Seventeen individuals completed the first phase of the program and they will be honored in August in St. Paul and Golden Valley, Minnesota.
The impact of this program on the senior residents, hospice patients, families, staff, and volunteers is tremendous.
- Senior living residents share their wisdom and life experiences through a Life Reflection Story. The meaningful group writing activities create social involvement, help with memory recall and engagement, and provide a positive way to share their life experiences and history with their loved ones.
- Hospice patients share their values, wishes and love through a shorter Legacy Letter completed during a one-on-one writing experience with a certified facilitator. Many patients indicate an improvement in quality of life after sharing their “voice of the heart.”
- Families receive a meaningful and beautiful keepsake in the form of a hardcover book or archival letter to cherish and remember their loved one.
- Staff and volunteers are trained as Legacy Navigators to facilitate the stories and letters. They gain a deeper understanding of their residents/patients and the program provides an engaging activity to enhance their daily tasks of care giving.
- Participants are celebrated during a special event and their stories and letters are displayed in the on-site library or “wall of fame” so that others can learn from and be inspired by their lives.
Read more in the American Jewish World article by Erin Elliott Bryan titled: Celebrating Life Legacies.
For more information about how you may bring this program to your organization, contact me directly at 651.600.6412 or visit our website pages featuring Programs for Organizations.
The significance of our values, wisdom and generosity is fully realized when shared with our loved ones and future generations.
© 2013 Celebrations of Life Services Inc. 651.600.6412