Between the falling leaves, the pumpkins out on stoops, and the smell of warm cider, autumn feels like a natural time for reminiscing. It is a time of year when it is easy to let your mind slip into the past and remember Halloween costumes from when you were little or the fragrance of your mother’s apple crumble in the oven. Reminiscing like this can feel a little sappy, a little foolish sometimes. We’re told to focus on the future; keep moving forward. But what if focusing on your past helped you move toward your future with greater resilience, energy, and mental wellbeing? What if remembering the past actually motivated you to live a fuller, better life in the here and now?READ MORE
"I was born in 1932, in Green Lake County, Wisconsin. My parents were both children of immigrants, Polish and German, and both sides were farmers and somehow ended up in Wisconsin.READ MORE
Autumn is a natural time to think about aging. We see the leaves change color as the earth readies itself for transformation. It seems right that September is appropriate for Healthy Aging Month. The phrase “healthy aging” brings many things to mind: maintaining muscle mass, flexibility, a balanced diet and disease prevention. But there are other, less tangible parts of healthy aging that come to mind as well — social engagement, mental wellness, a sense of purpose and legacy.READ MORE
Consider starting a life stories program in health care settings or hospice care for a number of reasons.
1) Reminiscence impacts all dimensions of wellness -- especially the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and social aspects. Even the physical dimension is touched with reports of lowered pain and increased brain activity.
LifeBio uses Reminiscence Methods ("RM") to connect, engage, and enrich lives. Reminiscence Methods are appropriate for people of all ages and levels of cognitive function when tailored to their specific needs. Reminiscence Methods are most commonly used with seniors and is “the discussion of past activities, events and experiences with another person or group of people, usually with the aid of tangible prompts such as photographs, household and other familiar items from the past, music and archive sound recordings”.  RM use prompts to find common ground and make connections between individuals who may or may not have cognitive deficits.READ MORE
“I was born in 1943, and at the age of two, my family and I moved to a 50-acre farm in Fowler, Ohio. Our family of six lived in a large farmhouse, and along the U-turn gravel drive there was a big barn, corn crib, and a chicken house. Upstairs there were three bedrooms. My older brothers shared one room, and so did my younger sister and me. We had to walk through Mom and Dad’s room to get to our room. There was no heat in our bedroom until Grandpa and Dad put a small radiator in the room. Boy, was that a great addition! In our playroom, I vividly recall a wall that had been papered using nothing but old calendar pictures.
“In 1963, I started teaching third grade at Sacred Heart School in Lombard, Illinois. At that time, you did not need a teaching degree in a Parochial School (I had begun pursuing my teaching degree, but I had not finished yet). My first class had 54 students.READ MORE
In the U.S. and worldwide, there is mounting evidence that loneliness and social isolation are growing problems that lead to major health risks and personal distress. There is also growing understanding of the value of solitude and its impact on positive states of wellbeing for older adults. Related to these topics, issues that come from experiences of dementia, widowhood and grief, problems that occur in residential care or nursing homes, spirituality and faith, and lessons from centenarians will be specifically examined in their relation to loneliness, isolation, and solitude.READ MORE