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.

Reminiscence therapy is a therapeutic strategy to promote personhood. Reminiscence therapy (RT) is a therapeutic technique that elicits recall of past events, activities, and memories through the use of tangible aids, such as photographs, familiar items from the past, music. Long held memories of personal importance remain easily accessible for most people and they become the basis for incredible personal storytelling.

RT thrives on interaction between people which creates an inclusive environment for stimulation and socialization. Life story work —one of the most widely adopted forms of reminiscence therapy— seeks to help patients and caregivers record and embed these stories into a senior care or healthcare system to increase the quality of personalized care and to improve interactions.

Recent evidence suggests that life story work in general may help staff develop a deeper understanding of nursing home (NH) residents’ backgrounds and increase residents’ satisfaction with care. More widely, it can also enhance relationships among staff, residents, and family members because the life stories can enable resident identities and preferences to be incorporated into everyday care regimens.

In addition, preliminary quantitative and qualitative evidence suggests that life story work can have positive influences on residents’ psychosocial outcomes, such as increased overall Quality of Life, decreased depression, enhanced autobiographical memory, and improved relationships with formal and informal caregivers and family members. However, inconsistent application, measurement variations, weak study designs, and inadequate reporting of study information make generalizing findings across studies difficult.

LifeBio's Reminiscence Therapy Method offers online software, telehealth approaches (1 on 1 and in groups), physical journals, class materials, and other life enrichment and engagement tools for organizations, caregivers, and health care providers. LifeBio’s system is deployed to record the life histories of people reaching advanced age or facing life-threatening illnesses or memory loss. For each participant, LifeBio creates a Life Story Book, a tailored 1-page Snapshot summary designed to be displayed in the living environment, and an Action Plan that lists participants’ preferences along with personalized suggestions for providing person-centered care.

Results from preliminary studies support that LifeBio helps staff learn important personal information about older adults in their care. Access to the LifeBio intervention shows promise regarding improvement in the quality of care, which is crucial to differentiating organizations in a competitive market. LifeBio’s existing first-generation product is currently being implemented across multiple care settings: in-home care, assisted living facilities, specialized memory care units, and nursing homes.

It makes sense that simple ways the storytelling matters. It is just part of our being. But the good news is that numerous studies conducted by LifeBio and other researchers back up the idea that our own personal stories can help others and ourselves in the telling and sharing. Yes. Your story is my medicine and my story is yours.