Projects and Activities – Life Story Work
We were successful in obtaining some funding to support the transfer of life story work research and evidence into practice. The project was guided by a life story work implementation steering group comprising: carers, OT, nurses, academic staff, a nurse link with nursing and residential homes, a community development worker with links to BME communities. Workshops developed and delivered to:
- 38 care staff from the Health and Social Care Trust, Nursing and Residential Homes, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Darnall Dementia Group
- Family carers of people who have dementia
- A group for Yemeni Men Elders
- A group of people who have dementia. Discussions have also been facilitated with two peer support groups for older people who have dementia
Members of the steering group have collaborated and attended / or helped facilitate at the workshops. A further carer and a person who has dementia have also been part of the workshop team and have been invited to join the Implementation Steering Group.
Two staff workshops were organised, these aimed to:
- Share knowledge and research evidence about using life story work
- Listen to the experiences of people who have dementia, carers and care staff on using life story work
- Encourage participation in aspects of life story work through a series of activities (see photographs)
- Promote discussions on good practice in using life story work through some case studies on potential challenges in using life story work (see scenarios?)
Here is some of the feedback from what were two lively and interactive days:
“It has made me consider people and situations from different perspectives and reminded me people are individuals. It may be useful in future as I am a nursing student and may get the opportunity to take part in a life story book.”
“The best workshop I’ve been to for many years – well paced, excellently facilitated. Have been inspired, thanks.”
“The training was very informative and shared by many different disciplines. Exercise work very enjoyable and made you think about your own life.”
“Even just talking about someone’s life is a very good leveller and brings about respect, interest and interaction between story teller and carer/worker.”
“The website will be a valuable resource in sharing and reflecting on new approaches used. It has also prompted me to think more about how the process is negotiated and managed with service users to ensure the best outcome.”
And some learning for future workshops:
“It was a useful opportunity to explore the story work. At times it assumed I think that we hadn’t used it in practice so I think clinical applications could have been explored more.”
“Could be more information introduced at university.”
This workshop was organised and aimed to:
- Share knowledge and research about using life story work from a carer’s perspective
- Share experience of being involved in life story work from a carer’s perspective
- Consider some of the practicalities of beginning to use life story work
Four carers (two current and two former carers) contributed to the day and there were opportunities to learn from one another. The two current carers left the workshop with the intention of working with their family member who has dementia on using life story work.
Yemeni Men’s Elders Luncheon Club
The men who attend this luncheon club were initially asked by the Community Development Worker whether they might be interested in finding out more about life story work and possibly participating.
Three members of the life story work planning group have met with the men on a number of occasions and with the support of an interpreter have established:
- The men are keen to tell their stories and have them heard by a range of people including health professionals, including GPs; younger people in general and the police
- The men would like their stories recording on video in order to overcome any language and literacy barriers
- The men’s stories reflect the challenges of coming to Sheffield from the Yemen on the promise of work and a better life. Many of the men have faced financial hardship, isolation from their families and physical conditions resulting from their employment (often in the steel industry) and their living conditions. There are a range of experiences of integration into Sheffield society despite the challenges.
- Through listening to their stories the life story planning group members have learned about the men and their experiences and how these have impacted on their social, physical and mental wellbeing.
The men’s stories are currently being filmed by a company called Optical Jukebox with funding from the South Yorkshire Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC). Progress can be followed at:
Workshop for People who have Dementia
This workshop has taken place with a group of people with dementia who attend Darnall Dementia Group and the Sheffield Alzheimer’s Society. The evaluation of the event will appear here shortly.
The idea for this website and the initial funding was a result of this knowledge transfer bid.