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Life Story Work with People with Dementia


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Foreword. Dawn Brooker. Introduction. Ruth Eley and Polly Kaiser. Section 1: Where has Life Story Work Come From? The Context of Life Story Work. 1. Narrative Approaches to Life Story Work. Polly Kaiser. 2. The Policy Context for Life Story Work. Ruth Eley. 3. Values, Rights and a Compassionate Culture - The Bedrock of High Quality Care and Support. Anna Gaughan. 4. Equality and Diversity in Life Story Work. Polly Kaiser. Section 2: Does it Work? The Evidence Base for Life Story Work. 5. Understanding the Outcomes of Life Story Work. Kate Gridley, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, UK. 6. The Evidence Base for Life Story Work So Far. Professor Bob Woods, DSDC Wales, Bangor University, UK and Ponnusamy Subramaniam, Health Psychology Programme, Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia. Section 3. Why is it Important? The Benefits of Life Story Work. 7. The Benefits of Life Story Work for People with Dementia. Steve Milton. 8. The Benefits of Life Story Work for Family Carers - A Personal Perspective. Jean Tottie, Former Carer and Chair, Life Story Network CIC. 9. The Benefits of Life Story Work for Paid Staff. Lesley Jones and Gillian Drummond. Section 4: How Can We Use It? The Practicalities of Life Story Work in Various Settings. 10. Community Based Approaches to Life Story Work - Keeping People Connected. Ruth Eley, Polly Kaiser, John Shaw and Pat Broster. 11. How Does the Introduction of Life Story Work into a Memory Service Benefit Individuals with Dementia and their Family Carers. Joanne Sutton, Merseycare NHS Trust, UK. 12. Life Story Work for People with Dementia in Acute General Hospitals - An Alternative Model of Care? Rachel Thompson. 13. Life Story Work in Care Homes. Victoria Metcalfe, Dementia Guiding Light - Evermore, UK. 14. Spirituality and Life Story Work. Polly Kaiser. 15. Using Life Story Work in End of Life Care. Polly Kaiser. 16. Identifying and Overcoming Challenges in Life Story Work. Jane McKeown, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT, Kate Gridley and Nada Savitch. 17. Arts, Dementia and Life Story Work - Every Picture Tells a Story. Maria Pasiecznik Parsons. Section 5: What Next? 18. A European Perspective: New Opportunities. Marie-Jo Guisset Martinez, Associated Member, ICE Innovation in Care for the Elderly, France. 19. Conclusions and Looking Ahead. Polly Kaiser and Ruth Eley. Useful Resources. References. Index.

Promotional Information

A complete guide to the theory and practice of life story work in dementia care.

About the Author

Bob Woods is an Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology of Older People at Bangor University, Wales, UK. For over 40 years he combined clinical work in the NHS with research which has helped to develop and evaluate psychosocial interventions for people with dementia and their carers, including cognitive stimulation and reminiscence work. Rachel Thompson is Dementia Project Lead for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and is an Admiral Nurse with Dementia UK. Both have significant experience of nursing in dementia care in practice, research, teaching, and professional writing in this field.


This is a really good and useful contribution. It is full of well-curated information and practical advice, but above all it is full of the humanity of people with dementia and the value of their stories. I thoroughly recommend this book. -- Sube Banerjee, Professor of Dementia, Centre for Dementia Studies, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
This book really manages to capture the multi-layered and multi-faceted nature of life story work. It sets life stories within the bigger frameworks of health, psychology, policy, culture change, identity, equality and diversity. We hear about life stories from many people living with dementia, families and professionals covering care at home, care homes, housing, hospitals, end of life, memory assessment services and arts venues. It ranges from the practical to the existential and fizzes with case studies, top tips, and research evidence. -- Professor Dawn Brooker, Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester

Life stories, a strand in psychological therapy with older people and people with dementia, has been unfolding over the past 25 years. This timely book brings the many facets of this work together.
Here is a sparkling treasure trove of a book containing all you might want to know about life story work and dementia. Written with clarity and in an accessible style suitable for lay persons, it also contains all professionals might want to inform their practice and develop services that place the person with their unique life story at the centre.

-- Reinhard Guss, Chair, Dementia Workstream Lead, Faculty of the Psychology of Older People, BPS, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, KMPT

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