Tell it like it is
Helen Hewitt Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham
Life story books provide a unique resource of information that makes up a person’s identity. Not only are they essential for person-centred planning, they also make powerful communication tools for people who have difficulties in expressing themselves. Helen Hewitt discusses the value of life story books and how to help people compile their own
Life story books originated in social services settings for use with children who were being placed for adoption and fostering (Ryan and Walker 1985, 1993). They were introduced as a way to help children make sense of their past in order to move on to the future. They are now used for many different client groups including older people as an aid to reminiscence and to encourage individuality (Pietrukowicz and Johnson 1991). People with long-term illnesses and, more recently, people with learning disabilities (Atkinson 1997, Hewitt 1998, 2000) have also benefited.
Learning Disability Practice.
6, 8, 18-22.
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