CCRCs, Senior Living & In-Home Care
Improving Quality of Life, Engagement and Vitality for Seniors
Our seniors enjoy participating in this program and sharing the ‘good old days’ with each other. I don’t know of any other activity that in such a short amount of time, gets our seniors talking and feeling good about their lives. We have seen a definite improvement in quality of life and engagement. It is priceless!
Bonita J. Heilman, The Harbor, an Ecumen managed facility, MN
Gene Cohen, MD, Ph.D. in his paradigm-shifting research and book, The Mature Mind – The Positive Power of the Aging Brain, states that contrary to popular belief, the mind continues to grow and flourish as we age. He demonstrates that in the last two phases of adult development (Summing Up and Encore), we are hardwired to share our wisdom, to reflect and find meaning in our lives, to give back, to attend to unfinished business and unresolved conflicts, as well to remain vital and engaged to the very end. Until now, there have been limited programs to effectively support seniors through this critical reflection process.
Furthermore, most psychologists agree that wisdom can help individuals maintain well-being and kindness in the face of challenges, and that it’s one of the most important qualities one can possess to age successfully. Monika Ardelt, an associate psychology professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, found that wisdom can help seniors find meaning, contentment and acceptance later in life, even for those who are severely impaired.
Unlike intensive and expensive memoir or historical life story writing projects, the Life Reflection Story program was designed for seniors to uncover and share their legacy of wisdom while receiving in-home care or living in independent, assisted, or CCRC communities. This engaging facilitator-led program helps seniors find greater meaning, joy, and purpose by reflecting and sharing short stories about their life lessons, experiences, family, wisdom, culture, inspiration, love, wishes, and gratitude.
Your organization’s Companion Care Team, Activities/Recreational Staff or Volunteers are trained as certified Legacy Navigators® to facilitate interactive on-site activities, small group conversations, personal reflections, and guided writing exercises. The activities are ongoing and engage all residents/clients regardless of their energy or physical limitations.
Resulting documents are typically comprised of 10-30 pages of content and photos captured in beautiful keepsake books, folders or letters for their loved ones and community to cherish. At the completion of the activities, the participating residents/clients enjoy a group celebration or book signing event as they are recognized and honored by their families, peers, and community. Then the next group begins the process.
This innovative Life Reflection Story program helps focus caregiving on positive aging and life celebration through measureable outcomes including quality of life, engagement, and vitality for seniors. Early experiences with this program have also demonstrated enhanced memory stimulation and social engagement, meaningful family conversations, stronger connections with loved ones, attending to unfinished business to gain peace of mind, a more positive view of life regardless of challenges, and a greater sense of life meaning and purpose. In some cases, the program has significantly addressed feelings of isolation and depression in seniors.
Additionally, both qualitative and anecdotal evidence reveals a wide range of benefits for staff including a deeper understanding of their residents/clients, greater job satisfaction, and improved morale as they provide these meaningful activities to engage seniors. Organizations also benefit from this program as they have found it improves family involvement, encourages more committed volunteerism, provides positive community outreach, and establishes a unique offering to market to future residents/clients.
Together, we can help your residents/clients live their lives as they wish to be remembered!
Learn how this innovative program can be tailored to your organization: