Life Story Work

Laura Holmes & Gillian Agnew
Occupational Therapist’s
Life Story Work is a record of the life of an
individual including their past, present and
It can be recorded in various formats such as
written log, photographs, scrap booking,
memory box, collage, digital/computerised
Everyone can use it in their professional or
personal lives
Within health & social care it is used within
community, hospital and care home settings
It is primarily used for people who have memory
problems or a dementia
The individual, their family/friends and staff
work together to create a record of Life Story
which best suits the individual
(McKeown, Clarke & Repper, 2006)
Opportunity to share their story, interests and reminisce
Working to patient strengths
Informing present and future care - being involved
Building relationships with care staff
Family/Friends/Carers:Feeling involved in persons care
Opportunity to share memories, thoughts and opinions
Building relationships with care staff
Staff:Better understanding of the person
Building relationships with person and their family etc
Promoting person centred care
Improving assessment and communication
(Clark, Hanson & Ross, 2003).
Activity - Timeline
 Take 10/15 minutes and using the paper and pens
provided make your own life story timeline
Place a line from one side of the page to the other
then starting from your year of birth, place
words/drawings along the line relating to
significant life events until present day
Pick the year/age that makes you smile to share
with the group
Clark, Hanson & Ross, 2003. Seeing the person behind the
patient: enhancing the care of older people using a
biographical approach. Journal of Clinical Nursing 2003; 12:
McKeown, Clarke & Repper, 2006. Life story work in health
and social care: systematic literature review. Journal of
Advanced Nursing Volume 55 2: 237–247.