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Seeing Things She Didn’t Think She Would See

“I was born in Talladega, Alabama, where I was raised on my grandfather's cotton farm. I enjoyed living there, and we were never bored! We had a lot of freedom and plenty of space to run around and play. We grew our own vegetables and raised our own cattle, and my grandfather was well-respected as a businessman. He was a Native American, so it was impressive at that time in the South that he owned his own farm. We never had to worry about anything.

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MyHello Helps Fight Loneliness

LifeBio’s newest program, MyHello, is a loneliness intervention geared towards elders. Through weekly telephone calls, trained MyHello guides are reaching out to help lessen the effects of social isolation, especially during COVID-19, through engaging and meaningful conversation. Calls often center on reminiscent topics, such as school and work experiences, hobbies, historical events, or other life memories.

Here are some examples of the success MyHello is having, one phone call at a time each week.

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All Things in Moderation

It’s likely that at some point we have all been warned to be mindful of too much of a good thing. A piece of pie tastes delicious, while eating half a pie in one sitting is bad for the waistline and could likely bring a stomachache. Exercise is good, but overdoing it could cause pain or even things like muscle strain or injury. Time with a loved one can be precious, although sometimes too much time with just one person starts too feel like just that—too much.

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Who is Your Family?

When you think about your family, who do you think of? Take just a moment to clear your mind and think about your own family. Do you think about your extended family or only your more immediate family? Perhaps you are married and have children that first come to your mind. Maybe you are in the empty-next stage and you now think about grandchildren or even great-grandchildren. Do you think back to your immediate family growing up, possibly including parents and siblings? Do you recall grandparents, aunts, and uncles? What about cousins, nieces, and nephews? Does your family include any half-siblings or adoptive family members? Do you have stepparents, stepchildren, or in-laws that are family? Do you limit family to those you are related to biologically, or do you also include friends and chosen family members? Do you include pets when you talk about your family?

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LifeBio Granted Certification

We are pleased to announce that National Women’s Enterprise Business Certification has been granted to LifeBio. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the United States. WBENC is also a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. They believe diversity promotes innovation, opens doors, and creates partnerships that fuel the economy. WBENC provides certification standards for women-owned businesses and the tools to help them succeed. Congratulations to Beth Sanders, LifeBio Founder and CEO!

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What's the most interesting job you've ever had?

"One day, I was talking to a fireman and he told me to put my application into the Battle Creek Fire Department. I was hired, and it started a wonderful career for me. I loved that every run was different and there were never any two alike.

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Current Events

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream! Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream!” sings the well-known children’s song. It makes life sound so cheerful and easy. In real life though, do you ever feel like you are rowing up stream? Does your boat ride ever seem a little choppier, so also a little less gleeful?

Perhaps this year has felt that way for you. There have been so many things happening in 2020 that can make it seem like the current is flowing against us. The COVID-19 pandemic, a struggling economy, and racial tensions would be enough of a deluge on their own. Then things like wildfires, killer hornets, delaying of events like the Olympics, U.S. presidential campaigning, and hurricanes have also rained down. Now for large sections of the population, heading back to school looks different this year—whether that means meeting online, a hybrid of online and in person, or in person but having to wear a mask and socially distance. In 2020, the water seems to be raging, and many people are wondering when is the tide going to change?

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Happy National Dog Day!

Since its inception in 2004, National Dog Day has been celebrated annually on August 26th. It was founded by Colleen Paige, an animal welfare advocate and a dog trainer. The intent of such a day was to bring more awareness to the number of dogs that need rescued from public shelters, pure breed rescues, and other pet rescues each year. Now, thanks to social media posts and being adopted into New York legislation in 2013, National Dog Day has grown in recognition and popularity. It is a day to celebrate all kinds of dogs—whether family pets, working dogs, foster dogs, purebred, mixed breads, or mutts. Many people use the day to recognize the dogs that put their lives on the line each day to do things like protect their homes and families, serve with law enforcement, and work as guide and companion dogs helping people living with disabilities.

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Music to Your Soul

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a song already running through your head? Or do you ever get an earworm that stays with you for much of the day? Does music move you throughout your day or even throughout life? What type of music brings a smile to your face? What are some of your favorite songs? Who are some of your favorite musicians? Do you have certain songs that bring back happy memories—maybe a song from your childhood, the first song you learned to play on an instrument, a song from a concert you attended, the song you danced to at your wedding, a song you sang to your children, or an uplifting song that reminds you of a powerful movie?

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Go for the Gold!

What an event the Olympics Games are! Picture Olympics past that you have watched. Envision the lighting of the torch from its eternal flame in Olympia, Greece, and then being transported around the world to that year’s host country. Can you recall past Opening Ceremonies and the unique ways in which the torch was lit, such as when it was ignited by an arrow in Barcelona in 1992, or when Muhammad Ali lit the torch in Atlanta in 1996? Have you been impressed by the grandeur of Opening Ceremonies with the costumes and cultural displays? Imagine cheering on your country’s athletes in sporting events. Do you enjoy hearing triumphant stories of overcoming adversity, which might even make you root for the underdog (like the 1980 Miracle ice hockey game, the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team, or Eddie the Eagle)? Has your heart ever swollen with pride watching a medals ceremony with the playing of a winning country’s national anthem? Do you enjoy the recaps shared during Closing Ceremonies, as smiling athletes prepare to return home?

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True to Her Word

Before I was born and while I was young, Grandma Maggie and Grandpa John owned on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Every morning around 4:00 AM, Grandpa John and a hired man would get up and milk the cows by hand. The milk would be put into 10-gallon milk jugs which were then loaded onto the back of a horse-drawn wagon.

While they had been out milking, Grandma Maggie would have prepared a large farm breakfast. Then their five children, including my mom, Agnes, would come down to have breakfast together. Before long as breakfast was finished, it was time for the kids to throw on their coats and grab their things for school. They would hop on the back of the milk wagon to get dropped off at school, as Grandpa went on to drop the milk at the local dairy.

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A Lifelong Passion for Cycling

“Biking has long been a favorite hobby of mine. I remember getting my first bike from the Marion Gamble Hardware Store as a birthday gift from my parents when I was in grade school. The picture on the right is of my father holding me when I was just a newborn.

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MyHello is changing lives!

Birds of a feather flock together... But what happens if isolation prevents flocking?

LifeBio designed MyHello to be a loneliness intervention. While it has been geared towards serving elders, it is not limited to any particular ages. The idea is that weekly telephone calls will help increase social connectedness and help cut down on feelings of isolation and depression, even more so during our nation’s current pandemic. There are different types of telephone calls available, depending on what a person finds most suitable to individual needs and preferences.

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The Dog Days of Summer

When you hear about the “dog days of summer,” what do you think of? Perhaps as a child you found the phrase curious. Did you ponder if it meant that on those days, humans felt like dogs, preferring to lie around panting from the heat? Or maybe you wondered if something happened to dogs in the heat, so it was a warning to keep dogs away from hot pavement? Did you think they were they called dog days because kids out of school had more time to play with their dogs then? Or did you come up with some other reasoning behind the saying?

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LifeBio needs your vote!

LifeBio was recently nominated to advance in the Aging2.0 and Louisville Healthcare CEO Council Global Innovation Search competition. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT now during the public voting round! Please visit http://wshe.es/Yl7IrgAW and be sure to vote for us once a day, every day through July 31. The highest ranked companies will get to compete in the Virtual Pitch Event in August. More information about the competition can be found at www.aging2.com/gis

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What is Your Favorite Fourth of July Memory?

“Now my family has a cookout, and sometimes we go to a parade. Growing up though, about the time when my brother was two years old, my mother told him that all the fireworks were people celebrating his birthday because his birthday was on July 3rd. The funny outcome was he believed it until he was in first grade!”   -Sandy L.

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An Unforgettable 4th of July

As a kid, our family would always go to the local fireworks display to celebrate the 4th of July, and while it was a tradition that I greatly enjoyed, there is one entirely different 4th of July celebration that I will never forget.

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Emotional Wellness- Part 2 of 2

(This is a continuation from LifeBio’s blog on Emotional Wellness from Tuesday, June 30th.)

 

Storytelling and Emotional Wellness

Being a storyteller allows us to have control of the story we share. When we are allowed to construct a story, we get to determine the important parts. We can choose what to include, and we can filter out things that we deem smaller or less significant. We can find the deeper meaning in it all. We get to determine the significant characters, the important events, the turning points that we tell, and how things shape us. While living through events, we can interpret them through storytelling. We can decide if and what we want to share from our story with others on our journey. Jonathan Adler, PhD and professor of psychology, says, “You may not have control over all your circumstances, but you can choose how to tell the story.”

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Emotional Wellness- Part 1 of 2

What is Emotional Wellness?

Emotional Wellness allows people to accept how they are feeling. Based upon that awareness, they can begin to understand why they are feeling that way. Then they can determine how to act in response to their feelings. Having emotional wellness allows a person to express their feelings more freely. Acceptance of one’s emotions affects a person’s ability to effectively manage through challenges and changes in life. Emotional wellness is the foundation upon which we build a quality life.

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MyHello Success Stories

“Hello again, hello. Just called to say hello…

Hello, my friend, hello. Just called to let you know I think about you…

Hello… It’s good to need you so. It’s good to need you like I do and to feel this way when I hear you say, ‘Hello.’”

(From “Hello Again” written by Neil Diamond and Alan Lindgren)

 

It is natural that occasionally we want to know we are thought of. Sometimes we want to hear that someone cares about us. At times we want to be reminded that we matter. Especially during times of social isolation, feelings of loneliness and depression can creep in on us. During those times in particular, it can be so good to hear from someone checking in with us, just letting us know they are thinking about us and want to hear us say “hello” back.

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Gateway Foster Grandparents Reconnect During Trying Times

Sometimes in the most difficult of times, the most amazing things happen.

 

Gateway Community Action Partnership’s Foster Grandparents experienced a time of togetherness during the current COVID-19 pandemic that was as unexpected as the virus itself. Working with www.lifebio.com, Gateway’s Foster Grandparents were able to bridge the cyber gap to reconnect and offer each other support. LifeBio provided free access to an easy to use telephone platform, called MyHelloLine, each Thursday afternoon for four weeks in late May through mid-June. It was so successful that it will restart again for four more weeks in July.

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Honoring Our Fathers

It began before I can even remember. Since infancy I have been a daddy’s girl. My parents tell me of how when I was a baby, my father worked second shift. To allow my mother to get a bit of sleep, she would pass me to him, as he got home from work and she headed off to bed. He would talk to me while he heated up and ate his dinner. He would play with me and read me the newspaper. For an hour or two each night before he put me to bed, I had his undivided attention, and surely, I thought that was just the greatest thing ever!

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The Rocking Chair Test

What to do? Oh, what to do? Have you ever thought to yourself, “What should I do?” Have you ever stopped to question, “How should I respond? What do I say?” Or maybe you have asked, “What is the right thing to do in this instance?” Perhaps you have pondered, “What next?” Have you ever been faced with a decision in which it was difficult to decide which path to take?

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How to Avoid Cognitive Decline

Do you ever walk into a room and suddenly cannot remember why you went there in the first place? Have you ever been talking and mid-sentence you draw a blank as to what you were going to say next? Do you ever misplace simple everyday items, such as your eyeglasses or keys? Are you ever left tongue-tied trying to think of the word you want to say, while you know the meaning you want to convey but the word just isn’t coming to you?

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We Remember...

Memorial Day is about so much more than just a day off work. It is not just about family fun, long-weekend getaways, or barbecues with friends. It is much more meaningful than just welcoming the unofficial start of summer.

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Overcoming Adversity

What are some of the challenges you have faced in your life? Often times the things we have faced are part of what makes our story unique from another person’s. While we may confront similar hardships, no two people meet the exact same circumstances. The types and intensity of our difficulties typically vary too. For a child, hardships may be things like a spat with a sibling or a friend, struggling in school, or being upset over being told no by a parent. As we reach adulthood, our struggles likely grow to include things like money matters, job concerns, relationship troubles, and beyond.

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What's Your Story? Let's Talk Thursdays at 11 a.m.

FREE "What's Your Story?" Group
Topic: HISTORICAL EVENTS (week 4 of 8) 

 

Join us! LifeBio is offering a free "What's Your Story?" conversation group with residents (and staff and family members) of retirement communities and nursing homes from coast to coast. Thursdays at 11 a.m. ET.  (5/14/2020 - June 11, 2020)

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Communication Tips for Talking to People Living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Do you know someone living with Alzheimer’s or another form of Dementia? If so, it can be difficult to see memories and realities slipping away from our loved ones. However, that does not mean that we no longer want to engage with them. In fact, getting them to participate in conversation can help them to prolong their memories and engage their minds. It can also be an opportunity for them to feel successful, be happier, and even decrease negative health effects like feelings of depression.

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Learning about Reminiscence Therapy (and How You Might Use It)

What is Reminiscence therapy?

 

Reminiscence Therapy (RT) is a treatment that uses all the senses to help individuals remember things from their past. It incorporates sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound to encourage remembering events, people, and places from days gone by. Objects may also be used to help with recall.

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StartUp Health Magazine Interview

Here is an interview between StartUp Health Magazine editor, Logan Plaster, and LifeBio's founder and CEO, Beth Sanders. Learn about LifeBio's new MyHelloLine service and how we are impacting COVID-19.   

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A Tribute to Mothers

As a four-year-old, when interviewed by my preschool teacher, this is how I described my mother:

My mommy works a lot, but I don’t know what. She just writes things down. I think she’s probably 31. Her favorite color is purple and pink, and her favorite food is pizza. She’s a good cook… sometimes! I like to go to meetings with her because I like to be with her. She’s pretty when she goes to meetings, and she’s not pretty when she’s wearing pants.

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Six Questions to Ask Yourself While Isolated

Do you or a loved one spend significant time alone on any given day? Right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or complete quarantine. However, even during other times of the year, you or someone you know may not have a great deal of social interaction with others. For example, you may live alone. You might know someone who lives in a nursing home or who is hospitalized. Perhaps you know an introvert who chooses to be alone more than with others. Or maybe in the winter you or your family members become housebound due to weather.

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Bringing Back the WAVE During COVID-19

I live about seven minutes outside of Marysville, Ohio, a picture-perfect little town about 30 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio, a dynamic and growing tech city.

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15 Creative Ideas To Stay Connected During Social Isolation

How can you and your loved ones stay connected during social distancing and isolation? While the world is figuring out how to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are having to self-distance or isolate. Even when the pandemic ends, sometimes people are isolated (whether by choice, based on where they live, from weather, due to transportation, or otherwise). Here are 15 unique ideas for how to still CONNECT with loved ones, even while being distanced or isolated.

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LifeBio Very Detailed Tutorial with Pictures

Using LifeBio is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

 

That being said, if you would have any questions, problems, or need assistance with any of these steps, please contact us on our website at www.lifebio.com or via email at info@lifebio.com, or call us at 1-866-543-3246.

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How to Tell a Life Story

Do you want to document the life story of a loved one, such as a grandparent or parent? Are you ready to share your own life story? Do you want to record your child answering questions as they grow older, to see how their answers develop with time? Do you want the ability to save photos, your family tree, and even audio recordings of your family members sharing memories? Wouldn’t it be great if you could do all of this in one place? Now you CAN!

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Untold Stories

A Unique Story

You are special. You are a wonderful and unique individual. You are who you are because of the people, places, and events that have influenced your life. Your interpretation of those experiences creates your world view. While there are some remarkable historical events that we have shared, your part is unique to you. People want to know your story!

 

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15 Questions You Could Ask a Person Living With Dementia Over the PHONE

It may seem tough to communicate with a person living with Alzheimer's Disease or other related dementias by phone. Here are two tips for starters.

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Social Distancing is Tough. Great Ideas to Stay Engaged and Use Your Free Time Effectively.

A common phrase amidst the responses to the spreading Coronavirus (Covid-19) is social distancing. This means some schools now have extended spring breaks. Sporting events, concerts, and other activities are canceled. Many public places like libraries, movie theaters, casinos, and churches are temporarily closing. In some places eat-in restaurants are shut down for the time being. People are encouraged to stay home and avoid contact with others, to slow the spread of the contagion.

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That's What It's All About

As a child did you ever put your right leg in and put your right leg out? Surely at a wedding or some gathering you have put your right leg in and shaken it all about. Have you done the Hokey Pokey and turned yourself about? Some say that’s what it’s all about.

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Fostering Friendships, Lessening Loneliness

How do we make new friendships? When we were younger, it may have felt easier to make friends. Many of us first met our friends through our neighborhood, school, college, or place of worship. With time, as many people get into relationships and start families, we may meet friends through commonalities such as other young couples or new parents.

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Sweet Talk (Reminiscing about Valentine's Days past)

I grew up in a family with three daughters. While you might think that this would mean our home had an excess of shoe boxes pass through it, that never seemed to be the case in time for Valentine’s Day. More than one year we had to search for enough boxes for all three of us girls to decorate for our Valentine’s parties. I recall once even removing all the Kleenex from the box in the bathroom, in order to decorate it for my class party. (My father may have been less enthused to later discover the piles of Kleenex I left askew on the back of the toilet.)

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Remembering Our Loved Ones is Powerful and Important

I watched Google's ad called "Loretta" with great interest during the Super Bowl. It tugged at my heartstrings and probably yours as well. Why perhaps?

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What if your story is my medicine and my story is yours?

What if your story is my medicine and my story is yours?  Story is medicine. It touches the soul. Story is a powerful tool to bring people together. When I hear your story, I walk in your shoes and experience feelings of caring and empathy. When you walk in my shoes, I can unburden myself from the problems of the day or relay my hopes, my feelings, or my emotions. Together, we may make each other laugh or cry. Another human being is a challenge to listen to and to understand. Every person has a story to tell, and every person benefits from both listening and being listened to.

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Social Isolation is a Social Determinant of Health -- costing $6.7 billion annually

Social Isolation is a Social Determinant of Health. "A lack of social contacts among older adults is associated with an estimated $6.7 billion in additional Medicare spending annually." #socialdeterminantsofhealth LifeBio can help.

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What is Reminiscence Therapy?

LifeBio uses Reminiscence Therapy (or “RT”) to connect, engage, and enrich lives.  Reminiscence Therapy is appropriate for people of all ages and levels of cognitive function when tailored to their specific needs.  Reminiscence Therapy is 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”. [1]  RT uses prompts to find common ground and make connections between individuals who may or may not have cognitive deficits.

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Laura Franco, VP/Director of Post-Acute Regulatory Strategy, and Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of LifeBio

Click on this link to listen in as Laura Franco, VP/Director of Post-Acute Regulatory Strategy, and Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of LifeBio, discuss Person-Centered Care:

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LeadingAge Ohio invited me to speak with activity professionals

What a joy it was to meet these creative activity professionals from across the State of Ohio this week.

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Good friends in business make all the difference.

This week LifeBio attended the Ohio Health Care Organization.

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Entrepreneurial Gerontology

This great article is worth a read!

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What's the most interesting job you ever had?

"In 1952 when I was 14 years old, I got a job working six days a week in a local family-owned butcher shop/grocery."

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"I Want to Get to Heaven Half an Hour Before the Devil Knows I'm There!"

My brother-in-law used to say that I reminded him of Lucille Ball. He said I always looked like I was up to something – and I often was! I am still a very positive person...

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The Golden Stairs Quartet

Singing with the Golden Stairs Quartet was one of the highlights of my life!

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Nancy's Passion for Sewing Never Went "Out of Style"

"I worked as a seamstress at Shamokin Dress Factory for 38 years..."

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LifeBio and Music Therapy Helped Me Tell My Story!

"My name is Rose. I am the very loving daughter in a close-knit Italian family from Massachusetts."

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I enlisted a day after graduation.

I enlisted a day after I graduated from high school. I chose the Army because I knew, if I went in the Navy, I would get seasick, so the Navy was not a good choice for me. My vision wasn't good, so flying was not for me.

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My Most "Memorable" Teacher!

"My brother, Roland, was always my 'other dad' since he was 8 years older than me. He taught me how to ride a bicycle; catch a baseball; and later when I was driving, he helped me get a car unstuck and also helped with cleaning the spark-plugs."

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Sisters AND Friends!

"I was the youngest of five children – four girls and one boy – with my brother Charles being right in the middle! My two older sisters and Charles were too old to be my playmates, but my sister, Mary, and I played together often."

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"You can do anything by hard work, honesty, and love!"

"I’ve gone from no electricity or running water to knowing how to use Facebook and text on a cell phone!"

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I was born in 1923, in Tevel, Hungary...

"My name is Katie, and I was born in 1923 in Tevel, Hungary. As a little girl, my family lived on a homestead. We had ten acres and it was called “existence” farming, because we could exist on those ten acres."

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Letters from Home...

"I was working at Sutherland Paper company as a commercial artist and also building our first house when I got my "greeting" for induction on March 2, 1951. I was to report on March 29th."

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14 Ways to Conquer Loneliness

There are times in our lives when we all feel lonely.  Sometimes, our loss is profound:  the death of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship, starting over in a new environment.  Other times, we may simply feel “out of step” with the way everyone else appears to be behaving, or feeling, or with life milestones that others may be accomplishing but which we haven’t quite gotten to yet.  Whatever the reason, though, know that loneliness (on occasion) is normal.  As humans, we naturally crave togetherness and meaningful relationships.  Loneliness may come and go – and come again during different periods of transition in our lives.  While long lasting, persistent feelings of loneliness are not healthy, steps can be taken to alleviate this perception of alienation. 

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LifeBio to Share the Power of Story at Naidex in Birminingham, England

Motivating, inspiring and forward thinking; Naidex is the powerhouse event of the independent living and disability industries.

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5 Tips for Interviewing Grandma and Grandpa

1. Don't delay and don't talk yourself out of it. It's time to capture grandma and grandpa in print, on video, via audio, or writing via the web. Grandma's life story or grandpa's life story is far more interesting than you can ever imagine. Really and truly, your own grandparents can tell you things that no one else can share. 

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Personal Biography Services

YOU Are Special!

Each one of us is a wonderful, unique individual.  The way in which the people, places, and events of our lives have influenced us has made us who we are today.  How we interpret these events creates our world view.  Even so, there are many experiences that are universal, and remarkable historical events that we have all shared.  You are special - and people want to know your story!

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Writing Your Autobiography is the Beginning - Not the End!

It’s Time to Tell Your Story!
Have you ever considered writing your autobiography?  Or has someone ever said to you, “You know, you should really write a book!”?  Perhaps you are at the opposite end of the spectrum, and the thought has never even crossed your mind before.  Well, no matter who you are, or what walk of life you come from – it’s time to tell your story!

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"We Need to Talk" - All About Reminiscence Therapy

For thousands of years, people have shared stories around the campfire, the hearth, and the kitchen table.  We human beings are practically pre-programmed to enjoy telling and sharing our stories.   Taken in its simplest form, Reminiscence Therapy (or RT) is recalling and discussing the people, places, and events that shaped us.  More than merely retelling the same old story, however, Reminiscence Therapy delves deeper and is used as a therapeutic tool that improves mood, reduces the use of pharmacological interventions, and improves quality of life.  Plus, it’s fun!

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Reminiscence Therapy in Action in Senior Living and Nursing Homes

Take Advantage of LifeBio in All Areas of Campus
Reminiscence Therapy increases happiness and satisfaction with life, as evidence from LifeBio's study with Iowa State University proved. LifeBio also increases feelings of purpose and meaning. Interestingly, a recent Harvard study found that increased purpose reduces hospitalizations. Lessening loneliness also has major health benefits.

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Music Therapy and LifeBio Reminiscence Therapy - A Lovely Pairing!

Board Certified Music Therapist Natalie Spencer uses the LifeBio Story Journal in sessions with her students to connect on a deeper level.
Today’s story comes to us courtesy of Board Certified Music Therapist Natalie Spencer of Moorings Park.  Natalie found that she was having challenges coming up with ideas to stimulate meaningful conversation with some of her participants during their sessions.  She mentioned this to the Director of Wellness, Celeste Lynch, who suggested that Natalie consider using the LifeBio Reminiscence Therapy program with her Music Therapy sessions. 

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Keys to Successful Communication in Dementia Care

Dementia Changes People

Your loved one or resident is changing.  Your once gregarious, “life of the party” spouse is now reticent and restrained.  Your college educated, thoughtful father is now forgetful and impulsive.  And – perhaps the hardest situation of all – your once gentle and caring mother has begun to angrily lash out at caregivers, friends, and even family.  The manner in which you once communicated with these individuals is no longer effective.  Comprehensive dementia care must consist of a new, inclusive way to share information with those individuals with Alzheimer’s and other memory affective disorders.

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Front Porch Leads the Pack in Innovation!

LIFEBIO HELPS PEOPLE... AND SENIOR COMMUNITIES!


For over a decade, www.LifeBio.com has helped tens of thousands of people tell their life stories using our online platform, which guides the user through a series of biographical questions, then allows the individual to create his or her very own book.  In addition to serving the consumer, however, it has been the great privilege of LifeBio to assist senior living communities across the nation capture and preserve the biographical information of their residents, which staff and volunteers can use to focus their person-centered care plans to meet the unique needs of each individual.  

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MEMORY CARE AND THE LIFE STORY

“They know me,” she says proudly when we sit down to talk. “They remember who I am.”
As I meet and visit with people with memory loss, it is apparent that there is great comfort in being deeply known. We all want to be known and remembered by the people around us each day. We want to be reminded that our lives have significance and meaning. We have things to contribute....

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Share a Christmas Memory...

"One especially memorable Christmas was the year that I was hired to work the Christmas rush at Kresges Dimestore in Elmhurst, Illinois."

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My favorite pet was our family cow!

"Our Guernsey herd was such an integral part of our life… they were like family! We took them to all the local fairs: Urbana, London, Hilliard (which is Franklin County), the Ohio State Fair, and two or three others."

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Research Roundup on Reminiscence and Life Review

For thousands of years, people from diverse cultures around the world have passed on their traditions, beliefs, and advice through the telling of stories. When writing a life story or writing an autobiography or just sharing some key memories with family or friends, stories….

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How to Help Someone with Metastatic Cancer

This topic is on my mind because I am thinking of two friends with metastatic cancer, and I know that everyone can think of someone facing cancer in their lives. In both cases, these two people are under the age of 50 and they have young children or children in their early years of adulthood. I suppose that's why I want to write about this because I am also at a similar phase of my life with my family. I cannot pretend to understand what these friends are going through, but I can imagine that I would be very fearful and sad to think about my children coping without me. There would be so much I would want to say now and in the future to them. He or she should be given the chance to record stories, memories, and advice. Encourage him or her to do so---it is a priceless gift and it should not be delayed. Despite very good treatment plans, it is a smart idea, whether someone is perfectly healthy or facing cancer, to capture life stories and key wisdom. They can also share the journey through treatment and document a "survivor story" too. You can help with a digital recorder or video on your phone or any other method that is convenient to you and your family and friends.

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In 1963, I Started Teaching Third Grade

“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."

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My name is Katie, and I was born in 1923...

My name is Katie, and I was born in 1923 in Tevel, Hungary. As a little girl, my family lived on a homestead. We had ten acres and it was called “existence” farming, because we could exist on those ten acres. We had two vineyards, all kinds of fruit, berries, vegetables, and an herb garden. Everything was organic. My father was a hunter, farmer, and beekeeper, and we had everything! We didn’t have any money, but we were rich!

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A Career Change - After 20 Years of Nursing!

“As a child, I vacillated between wanting to be a teacher like my grandmother and wanting to be a nurse because of the cool uniforms. Nursing won out after I read the Sue Barton and Cherry Ames novels."

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I Met Elvis Presley!

“I attended Findlay Senior High School, and I became the editor of the school paper. My whole journalism class traveled to New York City for a newspaper conference, and we also went to the Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey CBS Stage Show. Elvis was making one of his early TV appearances on Saint Patrick’s Day 1956."

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In Praise of Fathers…

 “As an early entrepreneur, my grandpa, Henry Deblieck, started a small dairy delivery business on the west side of Chicago in the early 1900’s. Every day he would buy milk and dairy products from local producers, then deliver them in his horse-drawn wagon. One of his stops was a local tavern."

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Storytelling for Health and Wellbeing

Storytelling is powerful and it is natural. Why should it be encouraged?  Because it is also good for people's health and sense of wellbeing.  

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Writing a Story Online -- The Life Story Made Easier Than Ever Before

It is amazing when a person's life story can be built online. For many people, it is the only way to go, especially for those that want to avoid like the plague just staring at a blank sheet of paper wondering where to start.  Why not use the power of a website to write your life story online

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Reminiscence Therapy: Effective for a Number of Reasons

I remember visiting Judy's back porch in her memories. She pointed to her father who was sitting to her left and her brother who was drinking lemonade at the table. In the distance, she smelled and saw the pink rhododendron bushes and she felt the breeze in the air.  Her mother was preparing food in the kitchen and a picnic on the porch was about to begin. It was like we were there, and, for Judy, we were there. We were visiting this sweet memory together. I also could feel that Judy didn’t really want to come back right away.  That was okay. She was truly enjoying the moment....and so was I as the listener.

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Why to Start a Life Story Program in Senior Living, Hospice, Hospitals, or Health Care

A good life story program helps people ask the right questions to bring out the best stories and to create a strong connection with family and other loved ones. When people are reaching old age or facing a life-threatening illness, this is the ideal time to be offering a life story program.

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New Teen/Kids version of LifeBio makes its debut

We realize that children may also want to tell their life stories, and their parents find their responses fascinating.  That's why www.lifebio.com now has a Kids/Teen template inside.  The questions were developed by asking our own children what they would like to talk about -- school, friends, sports, favorite costumes, and just life in general.  

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LifeBio helps those with terminal illnesses to write a letter to future generations

LifeBio's new "Letter to My Children and Loved Ones" template provides a simple approach to empower mothers and fathers to share their memories, wishes, and advice with present and future generations.

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Loneliness is associated with higher health care utilization among older adults

Mar 2015 - A new study. published in the American Journal of Public Health, finds that loneliness is associated with higher health care utilization (more doctor visits).  We find this of great importance at www.lifebio.com because we are building interventions to connect seniors to other seniors using reminiscence therapy to build positive, lasting relationships to increase social connectedness in health care, senior care, and home settings.

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Software for building a social history or lifestyle assessment online

If you have been looking for a way to automate and improve the gathering of social history and lifestyle assessment data, LifeBio has a solution for you.  Using LifeBio's web-based collaborative database, it is possible to load in your organization's preferred social and spiritual history templates so that electronic data can be compiled and stored privately inside LifeBio's database. This data can also be integrated between LifeBio and your preferred electronic health record system.  www.lifebio.com

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"Write My Life Story, Why?"

It was surprising to me to talk with an avid genealogist who couldn't see the value in writing her own life story.  "Write my life story, why?" she said.  I was puzzled.  Why wouldn't a genealogist see the value in her own life story?  Instead she was focused on uncovering the lives of her deceased relatives.

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3 Innovations in Memory Care for Senior Living & Health Care

Below is a roundup of some of my favorite solutions for innovations in memory care  

Here is a link to more about the affordable solutions from LifeBio that work in both memory care and in senior living/health care (we feel that knowing the whole person and capturing life stories effectively is so very important---we make it simple to gather at least a simple biography on every person using the web, an app, or our Life Story Guide or our MemoryBio Photo Album for starting conversations with those who have dementia), but I am also going to suggest some of my favorite programs that are also complementary....

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One Place to Store All Your Family Memories

I was talking with a friend the other day about what LifeBio does, and she said, "Do you mean that I can start a memory book for my 9-year-old son now and keep adding to it until he turns 18 and give him the book for graduation?" I said, "Yes, that's right. We know you want to tell the story of your son and capture the fun time and funny things that are said and done through the years...along with photos and videos."

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LifeBio Question of the Month for January 2015: Describe your childhood home, inside and outside.

This is how the house looks today (and our family doesn't live there anymore).
The gray house on the left. The sunporch is now enclosed.

Here's my answer to this LifeBio question--I hope you enjoy answering it too.  There are plenty more where this one comes from--just visit www.lifebio.com and get started.  You'll be surprised where your memories go as you open your mind and begin remembering.

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How to write my biography in 2015 or beyond

Here are a few key biography questions to ask yourself as you kick off your biography in 2015. 
They may see fairly simple ways to start, but they will do just that....get you started. 

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Video recording my mom and dad using the new App

I will see my mom and dad over the Christmas holiday, and I've got to get some more video of these amazing parents.  I think about all that they have lived through -- their own personal history and just history.  I recall the highs and lows (that I know of) from their lives.  I love being with them and just observing their mannerisms, and it is so great to hear them tell a story. 

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The most important new year's resolution -- the life story

Life Stories & Connecting with Your Family is a Great New Year's Resolution

Of course, I am going to say it. As the founder of LifeBio, I am going to suggest that your New Year's Resolution be that you finally get around to helping that special loved one tell his or her life story.

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Tell grandpa's life story and create grandpa's book

I wish I had had the chance to record my grandfather's life story. I can remember just a few things about him now---just a moment here and there.  I remember him taking me to a garden center in his big car (that resembles an Edsel in my memory).  I remember him driving a similar big, old car down the street to tell me that my little brother had been born that morning! We had an exciting day at school telling all our friends about our new little brother. 

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Veterans History Told -- at Home with Family

Veterans History Told to Grandchildren Matters

It was amazing to see my son, David, sitting with his grandpa recently and listening closely as my father recounted his experiences during the Vietnam War.  Dad served in the 4th Infantry Division as a truck driver in 1967 and part of 1968.  He shared about his tent being shot full of holes near Dak To in Kon Tum Province in late 1967, spending hours in a small bunker with 20 other guys, leading a convoy of trucks away from the fighting, blowing up his truck when he and his friend, John, hit a landmine, and enjoying Bob Hope's visit on a hillside one day.  There were some funny experiences and some very scary times shared. 

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Write My Autobiography

You may be asking?  How can I write my autobiography.  In fact, it can be a matter of just answering a few questions--but it helps if you aren't staring at a blank sheet of paper.  Sometimes, even if you're planning a whole book, it may be just good to start simple with the basics of your life history.  Maybe you're just interested in sharing your life story with your children and grandchildren. 

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Memories Book

Sometimes people are looking for a memories book for their parents or grandparents because someone is reaching old age, or facing a life-threatening illness, or experiencing memory loss or Alzheimer's Disease.   These are all common reasons for wanting to create a book of memories without delay or difficulty. 

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Private Online Journal

I've been putting pencil to paper for so many years now in numerous physical journals.  Here are a few things that I love to journal about....

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Memory book for my grandma

There is nothing more priceless than the gift of life stories.  I know that my own grandmother's life story really changed my life.  I thought, "I'm just like you, and you are just like me!"  But I would never have had that experience if grandma's life story was not recorded. 

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Memory Journal

One of the very best gifts you can give a parent or grandparent for the holidays is a Memory Journal. After all, there is no one else like your mother, father, grandfather, or grandmother.

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Writing an Autobiography

Writing Your Autobiography

There is no one else like YOU.  It's certainly not as difficult as you might think to write an autobiography.  In fact, it can be a matter of just answering a few questions.  Sometimes, even if you're planning a whole book, it may be just good to start simple with the basics of your life history.  Maybe you're just interested in sharing your life story with your children and grandchildren. 

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Autobiography Examples -- What to say when you're not sure where to start

Autobiographies are not just for the rich and famous.  No, today, anyone can create a short and simple biography or a more long and detailed biography.  It's as simple as following an autobiography template.  Since there is no one else like YOU, it is certainly something you should do while you have the chance.  You may also be thinking about a parent or grandparent who has memories from the past to share. 

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My Biography and Your Biography

Are you considering writing a biography? If sometimes people tell you, "you should write a book" then it's probably true.  You SHOULD write a book.  Most people don't know where to start, but they do definitely have something to say.  So where to begin? 

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How to Capture Life Stories in Hospitals

How do you start capturing life stories in a hospital? Here are some reasons WHY it is a great idea and HOW it can work...

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Only 1 million of 16 million WWII Veterans remain. Act now!

This is our last chance to gather the life stories of the World War II generation. Both veterans and their spouses have amazing memories and experiences to share without delay. Over the next few years, this is our opportunity to learn more about our parents and grandparents. These stories will be lost or forgotten if they are not recorded. Here is your chance.

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Using Biographical Data to Impact Person-Centered Care for Culture Change

What if every person had a biography? What if a resident/client could be viewed in various stages of life so that staff could see the myriad of experiences they have lived through? What difference would it make? Is it possible that capturing life stories is truly the answer to many of the problems facing assisted living providers today?

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Beating Loneliness Through Life Stories

A recent U.S. study found that social isolation and loneliness are major health risks---as bad or worse than chronic illness, obesity, smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or alcoholism. This report joins a host of other recent studies, revealing what those of us on the culture change journey already know: Loneliness is a killer. The best outcomes are a necessity in the changing health care landscape. So, addressing social isolation, sooner rather than later, is vital to your organization’s success.

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The Story Behind Tomatoes and an Apple on the Kitchen Counter

This weekend I was standing in my kitchen, deciding what to fix my husband and son for dinner (our daughter just left for college). I eyed the tomatoes on the counter from our garden, and I decided that I should try to make homemade tomato soup.

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LifeBio's Hotline number is 1-866-LIFEBIO

For those in Canada or around the world, you can also reach LifeBio at 937-303-4576.  Our email is info@lifebio.com.  LifeBio provides life story, memory care, and programming solutions for senior living and health care providers.   We have creative ways to meet the needs of those aging normally or those with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's Disease, or other forms of dementia. 

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Father's Day

Father's Day is coming up next month on June 15! It's always a stressful time thinking of what to get your father for this special day. He's been there for you your whole life, helping you fix things, working through problems, and supporting you through life's milestones. You want to show your appreciation for him with a special gift, but what to get him? Over the years, I've given my dad more sports memorabilia, hats, and fishing equipment than he will ever know what to do with. One memorable year I gave him a brush to clean his tires.

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7 Tips for Writing Your Autobiography

Writing your autobiography can be a scary thing to think about. Where do I even begin? Here are several tips to help ease the process. You'll have your own personal autobiography in no time!

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Importance of Life Stories

When my grandmother died a couple of years ago, my family and I spent a couple of days going through her things to either get rid of them or keep them ourselves. As we went through her house, I found a couple of photo albums. There was a picture of her at seventeen with my grandfather right before he went off to World War Two, and there were several of her and him as teenagers sitting in a car. She was so young and beautiful, and I found myself thinking. What was she like as a teenager? How did she feel when my grandfather went off to war? Where exactly were they going in that car?

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Keep Family Stories Alive

Sharing stories encourages a closer, more meaningful relationship with your children and grandchildren. Family's stories are worth telling because you may be able to describe people, times and places that no one else in the family knows about. Lastly, you can help the next generation—inspiring, teaching and modeling strength and courage for them.

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You're Unique!

You are unique! No one out there is exactly like you. I don't care if you have an identical twin; you are the only person in this entire world who has experienced what you've experienced, thought what you've thought, and accomplished what you've accomplished. This makes it important for you to share your life story with others! People can learn lessons from you that they couldn't from anyone else.

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Happy St. Patrick's Day

Make sure you wear green today; you might get pinched if you don't! As we celebrate St. Patrick's Day today, it's time to get our Irish pride on!

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Meet John -- Show car driver for Richard Petty -- Eden's Voice of the Elder with LifeBio

You can meet ordinary, extraordinary people everywhere you go.  Today, meet John.  John was interviewed recently by LifeBio by phone. John lives at Pickett Care, an elder community that follows the principles of the Eden Alternative, realizing the importance of each person being deeply known. 

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5 Outcomes of Social and Emotional Education

When young children connect with each other to share their life stories, they get more out of it than you may think. This form of interaction gives them social and emotional education. They're learning...

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Celebrate your Heritage

February is black history month! It's a month where people of African American descent can celebrate their heritage and the great accomplishments of their race. From the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights movement of 1964, there is so much to learn.

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Oral History Projects or Autobiography Projects in Retirement Communities

We're hearing from retirement communities that are seeking ways to capture the life stories of the older members of the community. Senior living communities, assisted living, long-term care / skilled nursing settings are the perfect setting for oral history projects. Even in memory care or with those who have early-stage Alzheimer's, this is a goal that can be accomplished.  

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5 Reasons Life Stories are Lost

1. You may not think anyone wants to know your life story. Sometimes, when I look back on my life I think, "Wow. I was so boring." We have to stop looking at ourselves negatively and start thinking about the fact that future generations will want to know about us. We've lived in a time that some people, especially teenagers, can't even imagine. What was life like before cell phones? You mean people actually talked to each other? However boring you think your life is, it will be endlessly fascinating to so many people, especially your children or grandchildren. You'll be surprised at how many people want to hear about the younger you.

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Getting Seniors & Adult Children's Attention with Storytelling in Retirement Communities

My friend, Kevin Williams, works with a lot of senior living providers (as www.lifebio.com/health  does too).  I asked him to talk about storytelling from a marketing person's point of view as well as from a family member's point of view when they are seeking out GREAT service and care in their local area.  We discussed the fact that seniors in a retirement community are the BEST people to share the story of why they love living there---but another amazing thought is celebrating the life stories of the AMAZING people in your midst (tell THAT story).  That will certainly get the media's attention more than anything else.

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New Year's Thoughts

As 2013 drifts to a close, people stop and think about how the year went, and how they can make 2014 the best year of their lives. Why not make your New Year's resolution something that will last forever, and is not only fun, but easy to accomplish? It sure beats dieting or exercising.

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The Perfect Gift

What makes a good gift? In my opinion, great gifts have these four things in common.....

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Family Reunion Fun

Is your family reunion coming up soon? Family reunions can be a confusing and hectic mess. How is this person related to me? Do I know you? What side are you on? Here are some tools for bringing the generations together:

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Give the Gift of Memory

It seems that as people get older (or maybe not so old!) they start to realize that they really don't want anything for Christmas. When people ask me what I want for the upcoming holidays, I look at them blankly. Do I really want the latest iPhone? Or the latest technology? Do I really need a new food processor? No, of course not. In the United States, we want for nothing. What do you give someone when they really don't need anything?

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A Perfect Gift for Grandma and Grandpa

Are you always struggling for the right gift for a grandparent? Is it tough to find that perfect gift for grandma? Is your grandpa hard to shop for? Here are three ideas to get you started while also capturing the priceless gift of life stories:

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Beginning an Intergenerational Project

In this day and age, the gap between the younger and older generation is widening.Technology and customs are changing so quickly that it is making it harder and harder to relate. Doing an intergenerational project is a great way for the two generations to bond and relate a little more.

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Check out the If You Died Guide -- the record your family needs for household, legal, financial, medical

Use the code   lifebio10 to get $10.00  off 
http://www.ifyoudiedguide.com/our-products.html

The If You Died Guide is the ultimate one life/one record resource. It summarizes in one written document, or electronically on your computer, all of the important matters of your daily life - household, legal, and financial.

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Discovery of a Lifetime

Watch this incredible story from GrowingBolder.com about a woman who discovered her father's letters and realized what he and his family had endured during World War II. She was touched by both the war in Europe and Asia. This is an amazing story. Let this inspire you to pursue your own  family history and the stories behind the people you love--while you have the chance.

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Lifebio is for Everyone

Whether you're thinking about telling and sharing your own life story, or you've always wanted to write a book, LifeBio can help you take that first step. Lifebio moves you step-by-step through the autobiography process, making it simple and fun to write down you're life story.

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2013 Best Gift Ideas for Seniors (Great Gifts for Financial Advisors and Estate Attorneys to Give to Clients)

Here are three great gift ideas for seniors:

1) A LifeBio.com Membership allows seniors or their family members to have a step-by-step process to record life stories.  You can even use it with people who are experiencing memory loss -- to capture what matters most before it is too late. 
http://secure.lifebio.com/p/24/lifebio-membership-gift-certificate-one-time-fee

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Visit us at the AARP Life @ 50 Conference in Atlanta

There will be 3 opportunities to connect with LifeBio at the AARP Conference this coming week.

1) LifeBio will have a VERY engaging exhibit showing the new LifeBio Studio app. Come by and start video recording your biography. It's easier than ever to use video with the webcam in the iPad....and LifeBio's process and questions guiding you every step of the way!

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Become a Sponsor or Advertiser on www.lifebio.com

LifeBio is now accepting advertising and sponsorships from businesses that appeal to the 50+ market.  Because LifeBio works with over 100 senior care and health care providers, there will be exclusive advertising available to both national and local companies who are focused in on seniors and their family or professional caregivers.   Please contact us at 937-303-4574 or 937-303-4576 for more information on sponsorship/advertising pricing or email info@lifebio.com

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Choosing the Right Memory Book for You

You may be interested in a memory book for your mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather. It may be a little daunting to know what to look for in a memory book. Sometimes having some structure makes it easier to interview a parent or grandparent. Here are some things to watch for when choosing a memory book or memory journal:

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10 Activities To Do With Your Grandchildren

In this day and age, kids are so caught up in technology that you may feel like you're losing your grand kids. This doesn't have to happen, and it doesn’t mean you have to stop spending quality time with your grandchildren. There are plenty of fun activities that you and your grandchildren will enjoy! The following activities from Leah Ingram’s Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less, can help you reconnect and develop a better relationship with your grandchildren:

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What If Everyone Had an Autobiography?

This is a unique time in history. Every man and woman has a voice. Their thoughts and opinions can be expressed for the world to read like never before. Everyone can easily have at least 15 minutes of fame. Now here's a revolutionary thought. What if everyone had an autobiography? What if you didn't have to be rich, famous, or unnaturally brilliant to have your own 50-page or 100-page book of stories, memories, life lessons, and values? Imagine the impact that your life story could have on the life of your family or friends. Imagine that loved ones aren't just left with a short obituary and a tombstone

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The Gift of an Autobiography

It may be an uncommon gift, but why not give your children and grandchildren your autobiography? Only about 6% of Americans leave a legacy behind them. Too few, too little, too late. Think about all the knowledge and stories that are lost!

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Your Personal Trainer for Personal History

Today I was thinking about the ways that LifeBio helps our clients say what matters most to the people they love. I thought about how our questions and online template motivates people to actually create an autobiography...and that anyone can write a book with the help of LifeBio's structure and questions. So I thought to myself, "We're the personal trainer for personal history!"

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Recording Biographies for People with Alzheimer's

Recording the biographies of people with with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia is an incredibly important process. Some of these memories will be lost forever, and someday your recordings will be all that is left. Here are some helpful tips to make the biography of your loved one as special as possible.

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Storytelling and Reminiscence Therapy

People with memory problems such as dementia or alzheimers benefit greatly from life review activities and processes. The recording of these memories is important for maintaining meaninful connection and communication. This needs to be recorded before its too late- too often, these memories are lost before anyone has written them down. We need to be able to walk in their shoes so that we can understand them and help them now and in the future. The person will make more sense if they are deeply known by everyone around them.

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How to Write an Autobiography

Beginning your autobiography could be a scary task. Sometimes, it's hard to know where to even start. Lifebio has the best autobiography template on the web.

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Interviewing Grandma and Grandpa

Starting the process of interviewing your grandparents may be a daunting process. How do I even begin? What should I say? Here are 5 tips to get you started on this fun adventure.

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Praise From Lifebio's Members

"I am thrilled about LifeBio's service.

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Why Reminisce?

Activity directors for retirement communities and nursing homes may hold back from planning reminisce activities or programs. This shouldn't happen. Reminiscing is beneficial to both the participant and the interviewer.

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Mental health in nursing

Mental health is of growing interest for health insurers, hospitals, assisted living, and memory care units.  www.lifebio.com is one excellent care management intervention and a social model for building a biography, especially for older adults. 

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4 Tips for Using Life Stories in Senior Living

Creating life stories in senior living is an excellent idea because it helps meet the many needs of your community. 

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Memory Journal: The best memory book

If you are looking for a great memory book to chronicle life stories, look no further than the Memory Journal from LifeBio. 

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Leaving Behind an Ethical Will

What is an Ethical Will?

Ethical wills are a way to share your love with family and friends. It is a heartfelt letter describing what matters most to you in your life. Unlike a Last Will and Testament, an ethical will is NOT a legal document. It describes the treasures of your heart, and passes on life lessons, values, beliefs, prayers, hopes and dreams for future generations.

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Writing Your Autobiography

Have you been saying to yourself "How do I write my autobiography?" with no idea how to go about writing it? With the write template, it can actually be a very simple and fun process. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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Not Telling Your Life Story- What is Lost?

We've discussed how important telling your life story is, and three things that are gained when you enjoy them with your family. But what is lost when you don't share them? What happens if your stories sit bottled up inside of you, never allowed to be shared?

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Why Should You Tell Your Life Story?

Many people wonder why they should tell their life story. Just as many people don't share it at all, and make up excuses as to why they don't. "No one cares about my life story." "They think it's boring." "My children know enough about me already." The truth is, sharing your life story is very important to you and your family.

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Intergenerational Programs for Teenagers

Teens are always looking for new and exciting community service projects. Why not have them connect with the older generation by interviewing people at nursing homes, senior centers, or other places? They can learn communication skills while becoming closer to a generation that might not understand them as well as they'd like.

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Creating a Memory Book for Alzheimer's Patients

Memory loss can be a challenge for you and your loved ones. Making a memory book can greatly benefit the person with memory loss, as well as their caregiver. Many Alzheimer's Association chapters recommend doing this.

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LifeBio integrates with Facebook to enable sharing

LifeBio just added a new Share button that will allow the biography platform's questions and an individual's answers to be posted to Facebook.  Now grandparents and parents may enjoy passing along their memories, wisdom, and values as they proceed through LifeBio's step-by-step process to create a full biography.

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Saving Your Family's Stories: Why It Matters

#familyhistory #genealogy  #lifestories

"Why should I tell my life story?" It's a good question, one I hear frequently. I can easily rattle off several reasons:

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Volunteer programs for hospice volunteers

One of the challenges that hospices face is finding a simple to manage way of promoting engagement between #hospice #volunteers and clients. One of the best ways for people to connect is through life stories. "Tell me about your life" is such a simple but profound question to ask. However, it is sometimes difficult to answer because life is complex and there are so many aspects to cover. For those in hospice care, time is of the essence to tell the story--in his/her own words--before it may be too late. So hospice volunteers can play a vital role in asking the right questions to bring out the rich stories that older adults and really people of ages can share.

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Memory cues for Alzheimer's patients

One of the key outcomes of gathering life stories from a person with early-stage Alzheimer's Disease or the outcome of gathering life stories by interviewing a close family member to the client with Alzheimer's Disease is....having the essential memory cues to continue to connect and have meaningful conversation.

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The Experiential Model of Care -- Gathering the Life Story is Step 1

"Nonpharmacological Interventions Key To Model"

"The essential element in making the experiential model work is transforming the mindset of the residence’s staff from a medical/institutional viewpoint to one that prioritizes building meaningful relationships with each resident and partnering with the resident in each caregiving event and activity of the day.

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Improving Mental Health in Long Term Care and Hospitals Using Reminiscence Therapy

Health insurers are increasingly being measured for their ability to improve or maintain #mentalhealth.  With the growth of #accountable care organizations, the five star quality ratings, and the coming together of insurers, hospitals, physician groups, and senior care providers, it is important to note that health insurers have a key measurement from Medicare to improve or maintain mental health of patients. 

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Gathering Memories for a Grandparent's Birthday

Have you ever wanted to pull together a memory book with just stories, and memories, and photos to give to a grandma or grandpa for an important birthday? How 'bout a memory book for your parents' or grandparents' anniversary? Maybe it's a 90th birthday. Maybe it is a 50th wedding anniversary. It's always been a lot of work to trade emails back and forth to pull together a group's photos and memories for these special events. Also, you may have wanted a low cost way of doing it so that everyone can just print out the document or you can email them a PDF of the memory book.

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A nurse teaches hospice nurses as she lays dying

Amazing story of a woman who decides to help others learn about the process of death and cancer...as she goes through it every day.

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5 Tips for Writing an Autobiography

Have you been saying to yourself, "How do I write my biography?" Here's some ideas to get you started.

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Reminiscence Therapy for People with Dementia

Consider using reminiscence therapy with people who have Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia. Many long-term memories are still intact. 

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When You Need Help..LifeBio Phone Interviews to the Rescue

LifeBio's Phone Interview service is becoming more popular as families realize that they WANT the biography of a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle recorded, but they don't seem to have the time or there are other reasons why they would rather not be the one asking the life story questions.  

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They Know Me. They Remember Who I Am.

“They know me,” she says proudly when we sit down to talk. “They remember who I am.”

As I meet and visit with people with memory loss, it is apparent that there is great comfort in being deeply known. We all want to be known and remembered by the people around us each day. We want to be reminded that our lives have significance and meaning. We have things to contribute.

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Bio Book

free lite memberships now at www.lifebio.com    If you're looking to create a biobook that contains life stories and memories, you'll want to check out the new www.lifebio.com .  "What do I get for my grandma for Christmas?" you might ask.  "How can I tell the life story of my grandpa, my grandma, my mother, or my father?"   LifeBio makes it easy.

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LifeBio is 2012 TechColumbus Innovations Award Semi-Finalist

LifeBio is a 2012 Innovation Awards Semi-Finalist in the Innovative Product category! Our thanks to TechColumbus for sponsoring this exciting event in February. Hopefully we'll win the category!

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5 Tips for Choosing Reminiscence Therapy Software

Here are a few points to think about as you're investigating reminiscence therapy software

1) Is it web-based for easy access on all types of PCs, iPads, and other online devices?  With family, volunteers, and staff helping to collect memories, it's great to have a private, secure online account where the information can be stored. 128-bit encrypted sites are a very good idea.

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Reminiscence Therapy Has Many Benefits

Reminiscence therapy has been studied for many years in various settings. It can certainly be used in senior living, nursing homes, assisted living, adult day settings, and home and community-based services.

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New LifeBio.com debuts just in time for the holidays

LifeBio is pleased to announce the launch of www.lifebio.com with a fresh new look and a simplified approach to capturing life stories, everyday moments, and family history with ease.

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LifeBio Testimonials - Great Reasons to Reminisce

We have successfully integrated LifeBio's storytelling, story capturing and story making into the fabric of Edgewater’s being. You challenged me to make it more than just an add-on activity---make it the cornerstone of our programming---and we did and it is working! J Thank you for giving me such a wonderful product to use to build community with and to make people happier and healthier....It is truly wonderful. - Dawn, Director of Lifestyle Services, Edgewater

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3 tips to make I Care Plans happen simply and systematically

With great emphasis on person-centered care and patient-centered care, LifeBio has now added a new "About Me" format to its online biography system that generates I Care Plans.  This About Me short bio creates a personalized I Care Plan document that captures background, activity preferences, and lifestyle preferences. Here are three tips for creating an excellent I Care Plan.  

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LifeBio Launch - Capturing Veteran's Stories Made Easy Just in Time for Veteran's Day

LifeBio Launch - Capturing Veteran’s Stories Made Easy Just in Time for Veteran's Day

LifeBio captures life stories and promotes better health through reminiscence. The Veteran's Story is a new "chapter" within www.lifebio.com, creating a veteran's life story without delay

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Veteran's Day Press Release

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LifeBio.com gets a facelift just in time for the holidays

Take a look at the NEW www.lifebio.com  -- click the SIGNUP button to give it a try. Take a free trial.   #Interview a grandparent or a parent.  Tell your own love story, travel story, graduation, or baby story.  Write a full biography about older members in your family. 

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Reminiscence therapy: How it works

Reminiscence therapy is used in health care and senior care communities, especially in skilled nursing and memory care. It is also used routinely in speech therapy with older adults. It is effective for connecting with past memories and experiences to build connections and to enhance relationships. 

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Best web-based journal that you can easily print out

If you've wanted to get away from your paper journals but you also wanted to still be able to print out what you wrote, LifeBio has the answer.  Inside your www.lifebio.com account is the ability to freeform journal.  The coolest thing is you can Preview/Print out your journal

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Writing an Autobiography: 3 Tips to Make it Easier

Are you staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen?  You know you have something to say but where should you start?  Thinking back on your life story....there is a lot to remember along the way.   It is hard to do it without some sort of structure to guide you.   Here are 3 tips to get the creative juices flowing from www.lifebio.com

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National Grandparents Day 2012

Celebrate your grandparents' by helping them start a life story!  Capture what matters most without delay.  They have wisdom and values to pass along to the next generation.  

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Cognitive Treatment and Reminiscence Therapy

For speech and occupational therapy providers, there is the opportunity to use reminiscence in delivery of cognitive treatment (97532) in a systematic and organized way.

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Creative Marketing Ideas for Financial Advisors

If you've been debating some new and creative marketing ideas for your financial advisor practice, we'd like to suggest a few options that will appeal to older adults and their family members.

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How to Tell a Veteran's Life Story

If your parent or grandparent or other loved one served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, or even later in Iraq or Afghanistan, it could be time to help him or her record life stories.  Veterans have a unique story to tell so it takes a special biography template for veterans to help them accomplish this goal. 

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The best autobiography template

If you're seeking an easy way to create your own biography, it is key to cover the important topics of any life story. It all starts with the people who shaped you. Your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, and other relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) who have been part of your life.

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20 questions to ask your parents or grandparents

For a long time, LifeBio had a longer biography process with up to 250 questions. But over time people asked us, "What are some key questions I could ask" my mother, my father, my grandmother, my grandfather, or other people in my life?

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Create a Family Cookbook in a PDF

Pull together some of your family's favorite recipes in a family cookbook  using LifeBio.com.  You can tell the story and the tradition behind why you make certain things at the holidays or anytime of year.  Include pictures of your loved ones eating your favorite foods too!  

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Create a Baby Book in a PDF

One the greatest features of LifeBio is the ability to create a baby book with memories and photos and stories--. You can then print it in a PDF file--you don't have to use photo book software and order a hardcover book (but you can do that too with LifeBio). Within minutes you can start building a baby book, preview it in a PDF format, and then print it out on your own.

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3 Ideas for National Assisted Living Week 2012

Prepare now for National Assisted Living Week --- September 9-15, 2012. The 2012 theme is "Arts for the Ages".

Think of the incredibly rich lives of older adults. One "artful" way to fit into the theme and do something incredibly meaningful would be to work reminiscence into your programming that week. Ideas abound! Here are some excellent ideas for wellness and for person-centered care efforts too...

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Online gifts for grandma, book gifts for grandma

Probably the very best gift you could get from your grandma is her life story.  You want to know what happened before you were born.  You'd like to see her as a whole person, right?  Here are 3 ideas for book gifts for the holidays or really anytime....

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Memory Journal - how to write an autobiography

If you are interested in writing an autobiography, the Memory Journal contains 35 main topics and over 250 biography questions.   The best part is it can be transferred to www.lifebio.com to complete a hardcover leather-bound edition to give to your family and friends.  

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What is lifelogging?

What is lifelogging?  "The continuous capture of a large part of your life" according to Alexandra Carmichael. 

Lifelogging can mean wearing a video capture device around your neck or using a technology device or website to record what you did today -- maybe every minute or every hour of the day.

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Free 14-day Trial -- now available at LifeBio.com

Sign up for free at www.lifebio.com   You can begin a complete biography, tell a Travel Story, or start journaling daily life, and much more! 

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How to save family stories

If you're concerned about saving and sharing family stories, you are not alone.  The growth of the photo book industry, scrapbooking, and Ancestry.com are all signs that many people care about capturing what matters most from their own life experiences, their parents' lives, and their grandparents lives too. Photos don't tell the whole story.  Genealogy is so incredibly interesting---keep in mind there is a whole life story behind every person in that family tree (and most of it wasn't recorded in the past).  So there is a better way.

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Welcome to the NEW LifeBio.com

The new LifeBio.com is live! Now you can create a biography, a short "chapter" of life like a travel story, and keep a daily journal using LifeBio's private and secure memory-capture platform. Share what you want to share or keep things private. Even upload family history documents for safe storage.

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Alternatives to Photo Books

If you think that a caption is never enough to tell the whole story....
If you think a picture is worth 1,000 words...
If you think that photobooks are not giving you enough leeway...
If you're tired of always needing to order a hardcover book....

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3 Activities for Family Reunions

Is your family reunion coming up soon? Maybe it's time to bring the generations together for some great conversations. Here are tools at your fingertips.

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Write your life history mylifestory

Beyond #genealogy, your life history is something that people will want to know 100 years from now. I am related to Richard Warren of the Mayflower (but it is estimated that 14 million other Americans are too). I am also related to my great-grandfather from the Downer line

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The right questions bring out the best stories

How can we know the ones we love better?  By asking the right questions. www.lifebio.com

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CaringRoad connects caregivers in the local area

This is a great website for family caregivers. Wonderful resources and an easy way to connect with other people going through the same things that you are as a caregiver.

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3 Reasons Why Therapeutic Reminiscence Works

For years, LifeBio has worked to develop the right therapeutic reminiscence methods to use in health care settings. These approaches to capture life stories have been used in senior living, long-term care, assisted living, and memory care.  LifeBio has also been deployed successfully in hospices, hospitals, and in senior centers, adult day centers, home care settings, and libraries.  There are a number of reasons why I believe reminiscence is so therapeutic.

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The Value of a Veteran's Life Story

The #lifestories of #veterans are stories of courage, tragedy, adventure, and love too. These stories teach us. We learn history. We learn lessons to help us live our lives better. We see the strength it took for you to make it through. It is an inspiration to us. It's also a warning to us that life is not easy--we are all going to face difficult times ahead, and we must be ready to do what we must do.

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Dementia activities, dementia therapy

If you are seeking excellent activities and curriculum for memory care, LifeBio provides a methodology for people to reminisce using the MemoryBio system (either on the web or via the "MemoryBio Photo Album"). Answers to questions and comments made are recorded in the MemoryBio Journal which can document one person's answers or a group of people's answers.

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This is my life

Creating memory books for people with or without memory loss is a wonderful thing in retirement communities or in health care settings. We like the fact that EVERYONE can be part of LifeBio from independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, or memory care. With or without memory loss, everyone has a story to tell.

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How do I tell my grandma's life story?

That's the question I asked myself. I started by asking my mother about the stories that my grandmother always shared so I could start my interview off in a good way. I asked about her childhood and heard about the first time she tasted a new thing called Jello and the first time she saw an airplane. She told me about HER grandmother and her parents. I felt a new connection with these older generations in my family

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Biography template on the web

Have you been saying to yourself, "How do I write my biography?" Here's some ideas to get you started.

1) Talk about the people. The people who shaped your life are going to be an important part of your story. Parents, grandparents, siblings, close aunts and uncles....these are people worth writing about.

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5 Tips for Using Reminiscence in Health Care and Hospice

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.

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How do I interview my parents or grandparents? Good question.

1. Don't delay and don't talk yourself out of it. It's time to capture grandma, grandpa, your mother, or father in print, on video, via audio, or writing via the web. Grandma's life story or grandpa's life story is far more interesting than you can ever imagine. Really and truly, your own grandparents can tell you things that no one else can share.

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5 tips for writing an autobiography

Here's some great ways to get started with writing your autobiography or even writing a biography of a loved one. 


1) Talk about the people.  The people who shaped your life are going to be an important part of your story.  Parents, grandparents, siblings, close aunts and uncles....these are people worth writing about. 

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If I die app for Facebook

At LifeBio, we know people aren't sure where to start. What should that last message look like and say? We're not surprised to see the concept of an ethical will make its way into Facebook with the If I Die app.  You can record a video or a message that will be played after your gone.

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Christmas memories worth capturing

It was 1977 in Erie, Pennsylvania. I was eight years old, and I was looking forward to many things that Christmas.

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Remembering Pearl Harbor

Speech by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his Address to the Nation

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Wakeup Startup at The Ohio State University

Here's a few shots from the presentation at Wakeup Startup #wakeupstartup at The Ohio State University -- a great opportunity to explain LifeBio to a group of potential investors. There was great energy in the room!

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Dear Dad...and to veterans in my family and to veterans everywhere

I just got back from a Veterans Day event in Marysville, Ohio--the 7th graders did a wonderful job honoring our veterans. This is a day to celebrate and to remember. As I sit here in comfort and security, I am so thankful for all #veterans who have made my freedom, my country, and this good life possible. Let's start with my great-great-great-great-great (and more) grandfather, Abraham Mosier who enlisted in 1775 in the Revolutionary War.

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Best holiday gifts 2012 for grandma and grandpa

Are you always struggling for the right gift for a grandparent? Is it tough to find that perfect gift for grandma? Is your grandpa hard to shop for? Here are three ideas to get you started while also capturing the priceless gift of life stories:

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Financial Advisor Client Gifts for under $20

Because you care about helping people create a financial legacy, you can also help them with a family legacy too. Capturing life stories is a need that many older people have, and as a financial planner you can provide a client gift that keeps on giving. Here are a few great holiday gift ideas to capture a legacy:

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September 11 memories from an everyday mom from Ohio

I was on my way to work in Hilliard, Ohio when I heard about the plane hitting the north tower. The TV was on as I arrived to work and we all watched in horror as the second plane hit the south tower. We wondered if there was any way to rescue people off the roof by helicopter, but soon it became apparent that this was a situation where rescue may be impossible. People were waving from the windows; people were jumping from the windows. We could see the flames licking at the back of people's necks as they had to make the terrible decision to burn or to jump.

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True Colors lyrics -- beautiful song. There's no one else like YOU.

True Colors
By Cyndi Lauper

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Creative assisted living solution

This is a great idea for RV enthusiasts

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How to capture the life stories of veterans

For a Veterans Day activity or to honor the special veterans in your life, consider helping men and women document their life stories. There is no more priceless gift than to preserve the uniqueness of a person's life experiences.

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Pat Summitt - work continues with support

I applaud Pat Summitt for her decision to disclose that she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease. She will continue to work as a basketball coach.

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LifeBio Iphone App

We're working on our mobile application. Probably by later in the fall or early 2011 this will be ready to go. All we can say is that it will be cool, and it will match the coolness of LifeBio's new features launching soon!

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LifeBio's 7 Tips for Intergenerational Programming

1. Keep the experience short and simple (at least at first). Youth today are very busy in after-school activities so they won’t have a lot of extra time on their hands. However, once they try something simple in an intergenerational program, some will get “hooked” and become your most reliable volunteers in the long run (and maybe future employees too!). Try different things to see what works best for you.

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St. Anne Home implements LifeBio technology

New technology at St. Anne Home will soon allow residents to write their own life stories.

Justin Meyer said the facility is utilizing resources offered by LifeBio.com. The resources help people write their life’s stories by organizing their lives into chapters, ultimately producing a personalized keepsake book.

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Health benefits of journaling

Writing can have a big impact on physical symptoms from arthritis to asthma to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depression.

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Lost Generation - video from AARP

This is just incredible....watch it all the way to the end.

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Rethinking Reminiscence: we all lose when memories are lost or forgotten

As we work with health care organizations, retirement living, hospitals, adult day centers, senior centers, home care agencies, and libraries, it has become abundantly clear why it is, indeed, the right time to be capturing life stories more.

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Elderhood Rising: The Dawn of a New World Age

Dr. Bill Thomas brillantly talks about ageism, the dominance of adulthood in our society, and why aging is going to save us." Aging is going to work a piece of magic on our society.

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Heading to Minnesota for a celebration of veterans' stories prior to Memorial Day

GracePointe Crossing 'Celebrating America with Veterans' Stories

Date: May 18, 2011
Event DescriptionCelebrating America with Veterans' Stories

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Adult day program ideas for retirement communities

Independent living residents are moving into communities for a variety of reasons, but one reason is because one or both of them is/are experiencing mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's Disease.

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Nursing home send 1000 cranes to Japan

Read how St. John's Home in Rochester, New York is sending good will to their friends in Japan.

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Reasons to write an autobiography

YOU are unique. Every life is a collection of the many people, places and adventures experienced.

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Generation Alzheimer's sheds light on a crisis, motivates us to act

This year, the first wave of baby boomers are turning 65 – and with increased age comes increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

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StandUp Gardens are cool. Flower power.

On occasion, I see a product that is over-the-top wonderful. That would be the StandUp Gardens that are made for a variety of community settings or at home. With spring upon us, this is a good time to start thinking about planting.

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I'm tired of the word "facility" used to describe a community.

I hope that the institutional language will finally disappear. I hope I never live in any place called a "facility". I know people hate the term nursing home too, but "facility" makes me think of prison. Maybe this is why. Listen as Gary Mohr, Ohio Department of Corrections Director, describes prisons as "facilities" many times during this interview....

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Great gift ideas for Mother's Day 2011

If your mother or grandmother or sister or favorite aunt is hard to shop for, consider the gift of memories. Consider a Memory Gift Box or Life Story Journal or a Memory Journal from LifeBio.

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Ice cream memories. Everybody has one.

What's your favorite memory of ice cream? Mine is going to Creamland on Route 20 between Erie, PA and Fairview, PA for ice cream, especially after a long hot day baling hay at the farm.

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StoryCorps captures Studs Terkel's story

"What has happened to the human voice?"

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Quick and easy ways to capture life stories

It doesn't have to be a major production or take a huge time commitment to help someone create a biography or a simple display about their life story and experiences. It doesn't have to be expensive either.

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Working on a 94-year-old's biography tonight.

Such a beautiful tale of joys and challenges, ups and downs, and faith and hope through the years. I feel like every story becomes part of me in a wonderful way and I keep learning so much.

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Stories matter.

For thousands of years, we've shared our traditions, beliefs, and values through storytelling. The stories were told around the bonfire, the campfire, and the kitchen table.

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We are all storytellers

Truth is stranger than fiction. We gain amazing life experiences through the years. Our children and grandchildren learn through story. Don't hesitate to teach them through your true life stories.

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Unique birthday gifts for seniors

If you're really trying to find that priceless, perfect gift for the person who has everything, we now have a new offer at LifeBio that might fit the bill.

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Donate to help the Japanese people

100% of your gift will provide emergency relief and long-term recovery support for disaster-affected communities

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Statistics on Aging....That Pesky Iron Law

Dr. Bill Thomas shares demographics and how post-war generation is going to impact us in the future.

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Storytelling is making a comeback

Parents and grandparents are sometimes surprised at how much their children and grandchildren want to know when they start sharing their true life stories.

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Baby Books and Grandparents

I pulled out the baby books to see some of the adorable things I chose to record when my kids were very small. (Stay with me...In a minute, I'll tell you the connection between baby books and recording life stories.)

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Creating a lasting legacy

What do you consider important to pass along to your children and grandchildren? What will you want people to remember about you and the family members who came before you?

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Last WWI U.S. veteran dies -- Frank Buckles -- the end of an era

The last American doughboy has passed away, and this reminds me that there will also come a day when the last WWII veteran will pass away. With less than 2 million WWII veterans still alive today (of the 16 million who served), according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, now is the time to capture these veterans' life stories without delay.

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The end of horse and buggy stories? Probably.

I am lamenting the loss of stories about life before cars, tractors, and electricity. In Charlotte's biography and Marie's biography (both in their mid-90s), they share about life in wagons and sleighs...no school buses back then.

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Reminiscence therapy and dementia: 3 reasons why it makes a difference

1. The past is one of the best ways to connect. Long-term memories are, in many cases, very much intact. When someone has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias, it is important to capture as many details of his or her life stories as possible, as quickly as possible. It may not seem like the details matter, but they do and they will. In fact, it will be critical to delivering the best possible service and care. Because retrogenesis is believed to occur, a person with dementia may be, essentially, traveling back in time and seeing himself or herself as 50 or 40 or 20 or 10 years old. If you can know more about his or her life at these different ages, it will make communication and understanding easier.

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Life stories: 3 tips for writing life stories without delay

Every life deserves a book. So how should we go about creating a life story and avoiding the dreaded blank sheet of paper?

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Rehab therapy and reminiscence therapy

Catrina learns a lot about Mrs. G. through reminiscing and recording her life story. Communications skills improved, individuality recognized, empathy gained, and relationships built.

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Vietnam veteran shares story

Jim still has much to give---after already giving so much to our country. Wishing he was connected to youth in his local area.

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Person-centered care won't work unless.....

health care workers truly know people and their life stories. The brief social history or even the new MDS 3.0 standards are okay, but these things are the bare minimum. The life story will need to be captured and it can happen in a variety of ways by learning more from the people themselves or by a process of involving their family members in the interview or by motivating staff to engage in a much more personal way.

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Wise words about recollections

Dr. Bill Thomas of the Eden Alternative writes... "Much is made, and rightly so, of the special circumstances in which elders experience a great forgetting. We commonly refer to this as “living with dementia.” Less attention is paid, however, to how and why elders remember. Elders’ recollections are different from ordinary forms of memory…

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Adult Day Care Activities

One of the most important aspects of adult day services is providing companionship and opportunities for conversation. For people with memory loss, it is also vital to be stimulating the hippocampus area of the brain where memories are stored. Journaling groups are very possible as part of the activity program in an adult day center

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Sweet memories and conscious of them

When I read to my son and the dog listened too, that is a sweet memory. When my daughter practiced the same little tune on the piano over and over again, that is a sweet memory. When my husband and I sat as close as we could at dinner so our knees were touching, that is a sweet memory.

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Orphaned at 60

Annette Gonzalez describes how it feels after both of her parents passed away. "I write and speak about feeling like an 'orphan' at sixty years of age. Five months after my mother died, my father passed away. Sharing my experiences as a daughter, caregiver, wife and mother hopefully will help others who are grieving over the loss of their parent."

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All the Lonely People

In a recent survey, 43 percent of respondents 45 through 49 are chronically lonely, compared with 25 percent of those 70 and older. What is going on? This article from AARP Magazine is worth reading.

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How to write an autobiography: 3 tips to getting started

Every life deserves a book. So how should we go about creating an autobiography and avoiding the dreaded blank sheet of paper?

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Intergenerational Projects for Teens

Youth are always seeking community service projects--so why not take the opportunity to have them connect to interview an older adults at a nursing home, senior living, assisted living community, church, senior center, or other setting.

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Autobiography Class for Libraries

Every person should have the chance to write a book! Libraries are an ideal place to offer autobiography writing classes. Regardless of someone's age, there are people, times, and places to share...plus the library is great place for friendships to form. Although autobiography classes are usually most appealing to those over 50 or seniors, there is no reason why a library wouldn't be able to include adults of any age in a course to capture life stories. An autobiography class in a library for seniors or all ages should include a great ice breaker, opportunities for people to tell and share stories, and it shouldn't be overly complicated or intimidating. In other words, even people who consider themselves non-writers should be able to participate.

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Technology for nursing homes of the 21st Century

Technology in skilled nursing is very beneficial for the residents, families, and staff. Here are a few reasons why computers in long term care or assisted living will continue to expand now and in the future...

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Memories lost. What can be done?

Here's a stunning number. In 2010, over 400,000 Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Each year that number is expected to grow, reaching over 600,000 a year by 2030.
LifeBio is laser focused on using innovative technology and other tools to help ensure memories are not lost or forgotten in senior living, health care organizations, nursing homes, adult day programs, and home health care settings. Why?

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Reunion games - a conversation starter

One of the challenges of planning games for a reunion is coming up with something that everyone can play together -- younger and older alike. Sack races and balloon tosses are great, but interative family games can be a bit more difficult to plan. Conversation starters can break down barriers and make for a memorable family reunion game for all ages.

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Don't let memories be lost or forgotten

It's important to capture your family's history and record a lasting legacy. Record the essence of your parents or grandparents (not just genealogy) and ensure future generations can really know them too. Also, memory loss is a real problem.

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Autobiography class for seniors

If you are interested in offering an autobiography class for seniors in your local area, senior center, or library, LifeBio provides the LifeBio 101 Class. This 8-week autobiography class for older adults curriculum is perfect for people of all ages but especially for seniors and boomers.

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400,000+ new cases of Alzheimer's Disease each year

Support the efforts of the Alzheimer's Association in your local area. Give to help find a cure for this disease that affects over 5 million Americans today. According to the Alzheimer's Association, in 2000, there were an estimated 411,000 new (incident) cases of Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. For 2010, that number is projected to be 454,000 new cases; by 2030, 615,000; and by 2050, 959,000.

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My Life Story -- Lessons learned from 41 years of life experience

Your life story and my life story are unique. I've learned a thing or two through the years and so have you. We don't always think about it or talk about it, but every day of life teaches us all something. I can only imagine that at age 51, 61, 81 or 101, I will most likely name different lessons learned, but here are my thoughts at age 41.

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Bible studies for seniors and boomers

Many churches are now using "The Great Story & Your Story: Connecting the Bible to Everyday Lives" for Bible studies for seniors and boomers. This study is appealing because it helps people really relate their own lives to the biblical stories contained. The questions during each week of the 12-week study are autobiographical in nature, leading to very interesting discussions and wonderful opportunities to be heard and to listen.

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Snow day activities - why not interview your grandparents

For all those teenagers who have been out of school for a few days, here is your chance to call your grandparents or email them and just say, "Tell me your life story." Then watch what happens! They may actually do it.

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Overcoming hate with love

We love when we listen. That's what I love about storytelling. We walk in each other's shoes. We try to understand what the other person is thinking. We may not agree on everything

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Losing My Role Gaining Myself

Richard Morgan--worth reading. The View from 80.

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We love as we listen

Last Thursday I went to the home of a very special woman. As a personal historian in Ohio, it was my great privilege to be able to videotape this 94-year-old in her country home at the request of her grandson. There was a sparkle in her eye as she shared her story

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MemoryBio - new reminiscence curriculum for Alzheimer's Disease

I saw a need when I came into skilled nursing communities or memory care units to provide a simple way for people to have a way of visiting with people who have memory loss or Alzheimer's Disease. MemoryBio provides one-on-one or small group activities involves sharing a picture or multiple pictures provided in the MemoryBio Photo Album.

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Capturing life stories for someone with early-stage Alzheimer's disease

When someone has been dianosed with early stage Alzheimer's Disease, it is important to capture as many details of his or her life stories as possible, as quickly as possible. It may not seem like the details matter, but they do and they will. In fact, it will be critical to delivering the best possible service and care.

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Storytelling and Reminiscence Therapy for People with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia

People with memory problems can benefit greatly from reminiscence and life review processes. Unfortunately, too often memories are lost and forgotten before this critical information is captured. Professional caregivers and family caregivers are more and more interested in asking the right questions and recording the answers too

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Life Stories Work and Social Work

Social histories and life stories...
A typical social history is an interview process used by a social worker during an intake process, typically associated with medical services. It would detail where someone grew up, and who the immediate family is and how to contact them. It would talk about the person's educational background and their family and marital status. Work life would be a key part of a social history, and it may even include hobbies and interests. The social history may include any problems or concerns the person is facing....and look to the future to have the person describe their goals.

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Life stories in geriatric care management and social work

There are various ways that reminiscence and life review work can be used in geriatric care management and social work. Life stories are an excellent way to build relationships with your clients. Here's how and why it works:

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The rise of breadmaking again? Maybe so....here are some tips.

Today I went to the grocery store and I was startled to see bread selling for $3.99 a loaf for the decent kind that has some substance to it. "What!" I thought. "I can buy a 5lb bag of flour on sale for $2 and make four loaves of bread for that same price...and I will know what's in it too!" And that's just what I did.

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Kitty is back

At 5 a.m. this morning, Kitty returned home. She had been gone for at least a week. Her official name is Dalmatian, but she really goes by Kitty most of the time. She is a beautiful cat and she is the love of my 14-year-old daughter's life. We've had her at the house since the day she was born. She is the cutest cat we've ever seen. Anyway, Kitty disappeared around Dec. 25th or 26th and we were concerned that we would never see her again. I've been consoling my daughter for days

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Uncovering family history and the lessons from the past

Watch this incredible story from GrowingBolder.com about a woman who discovered her fathers' letters and realized what he and his family had endured during World War II. Touched by both the war in Europe and Asia too....amazing story.  Let this inspire you to pursue your own family history and the stories behind the people you love--while you have the chance.

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How much we need our parents

I count myself very blessed to have my mother, father, mother-in-law, and father-in-law still with me. I am very conscious that they will not be with me forever. I suppose this fact of life and death may come to me more often than it does for most people

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Life Stories in Senior Living

Life stories are a vital part of knowing every resident and delivering the very best service and care. In fact, it is also a useful approach for home health, non-medical home care, hospice, and adult day programs. Community settings like CCRCs, active aging communities, or other types of senior living are the ideal place for capturing life stories.

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Life Story Journal

The Life Story Journal contains 72 essential questions for writing your own life story or writing the life story of a loved one. Writing an autobiography is made easy with the Life Story Journal's "warm up" questions followed by questions on people, historical events, childhood memories, favorites, adulthood, beliefs, and life lessons.

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What makes a good gift?

What makes a good gift? In my opinion, great gifts have these 4 things in common.....

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Wellness Trend -- Reminiscence

I'm at the ICAA Conference in San Diego today (speaking in about 2 hours). I'm going to talk about how wellness impacts ALL dimensions of wellness. With wellness directors especially looking for ways to address emotional and spiritual wellness in wellness programming, it is key to know that capturing life stories and bringing people together in GROUPS to share memories and experiences is a very powerful idea.

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Ethical wills are growing in popularity judging by the news

Ethical wills have been in the news lately. Recent news stories in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fort Myers News Press, and the Naples Daily News describe the importance of an ethical will and different ways of accomplishing the goal of writing down values and beliefs....the treasures of the heart NOT just monetary treasures.

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The Gift of Life Stories - catch them while you can

Being surrounded by family the past few days reminds me of the fact that every life is amazingly unique. There is no one else like my Aunt Jane, my mother, or my father. No one like my sister or my brothers either. Their lives are a collection of the many people, places and adventures experienced.

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Teaching Children How to Work: 3 Tips for Parents

It has always concerned me that I ensure my children are hard workers and that they have ample experience doing hard work. In fact, yesterday I was looking at a tree that had been cut down and the wood was left behind near our house. I thought, "Fantastic! My son will now have the excellent opportunity to chop that wood with an ax and carry it a long way. Now that's hard work and good exercise too!"

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Ethical Will: A letter from the heart to your loved ones

Ethical wills are a way to share your love with family and close friends. Think of an ethical will as a heartfelt letter describing what truly matters most in your life. An ethical will passes on life lessons, values, advice, joys, prayers, hopes, and dreams for present and future generations.

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Ethical will: Chuck Jaffe is going to say what matters most

Chuck Jaffe explains how life's priorities changed after a recent health scare. Among other things.... he is going to write an ethical will.

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Why capture life stories?

YOU are unique. Every life is a collection of the many