Opportunities exist for students to work directly with older adults in their community to capture their life stories. LifeBio provides experiences that can be differentiated for middle school, high school, and university students. LifeBio works directly with teachers to provide cooperative experiences which forge intergenerational friendships, develop communication skills, and teach life lessons. This process increases feelings of purpose and meaning, while reducing feelings of loneliness and depression among both seniors and students.
LifeBio offers intergenerational projects that encourage developmental growth in youth and young adults, including:
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University of Alabama students partnered with LifeBio through a Cognitive Dynamics Foundation collaboration. A service-learning course, called “Art to Life,” paired students with people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. This was an intergenerational experience to grow empathy and relationships, through using art therapy and LifeBio’s reminiscence and storytelling methods. Here students hosted a gala to honor their partners and talk about how impactful this experience this was. LifeBio leather-bound legacy books were presented to the participants and their families. These books contained participants’ life story materials and artwork created with their student partner. Students shared stories and words of gratitude, to further honor and validate their new friends.
Through this project Marysville High School students (in Marysville, Ohio) were partnered with elders in their community. While students were learning empathy, skills such as interviewing others, and about another generation of history, the elders were given the chance to document their life stories. In this video you can watch as students and their partnered elders shared their positive experiences from this project. Students presented LifeBio legacy books to their partners during a celebration with their families. Elder’s family members also shared how, through this experience, they were able to learn more about their loved one that they did not previously know. LifeBio can be a lifeline to help connect people of various generations.
“Occasionally [my elder partner] would talk about his past, and his face would light up. It was really cool to see him remembering things he hasn’t thought about in years!”
"LifeBio is a great program that allows our residents to reminisce about the past, express their dreams, and have a wonderful legacy to share with their family. Students who have interviewed our elders have learned history first hand, and felt honored to preserve life stories that may have seemed ordinary at first, but ended up capturing the extraordinary in the process."
Custom projects can be designed for your specific school or university situation.
Custom projects can be designed for your specific situation.