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Getting to Know the Life Stories of Older Adults: Activities for Building Relationships | with CD-ROM
Kathy Laurenhue, M.A.
Health Professions Press / Softcover / Feb 2012
9781932529258 (ISBN-10: 193252925X)
Old Age Studies
price: $69.50 (may be subject to change)
216 pages
Not in Stock, can take 4-6 weeks to ship

Positive relationships begin with people enjoying one another. This fresh look at reminiscence uses fun-filled, lively activities to help people laugh with, as well as learn from, each other. The engaging program will foster understanding and build a sense of community through meaningful interaction.

Nine in-depth group exercises and more than 30 informal mini-exercises cover broad topics such as individuals’ backgrounds, personal preferences, and social history. Games, discussion, storytelling, and other interactive methods are used to reveal participants’ unique characteristics, experiences, and interests. Substantial benefits will result including

expanded self-awareness and self-esteem
strengthened relationships among participants, families, and caregivers
disclosure of useful information for personalizing care
enhanced brain functioning
Appropriate for people of all ages, but aimed particularly at older adults, these activities can be used in long-term care settings, assisted living facilities, adult day centers, and senior centers. The exercises can also be adapted for one-on-one use in home or community settings and used with intergenerational groups.

Each main exercise is completely scripted and easy-to-implement with minimal preparation. The manual also includes adaptations for people with dementia, additional resource lists, and a CD-ROM with printable handouts.

Every person is unique––use these activities to discover, celebrate, and benefit from the experience and individuality of older adults.

About the Author:

Kathy Laurenhue, M.A., is CEO of Wiser Now, Inc., a company focused on training and product and curriculum development related to older adults, with an emphasis on positive mind stimulation, life stories, dementia, and caregiving. For the past 15 years, Kathy has given training seminars throughout the United States and Australia, and has developed multi-media training materials for national companies in both countries.

In the 1990s, Kathy was president of Better Directions, Inc., a multi-media training company that emphasized a practical, but light-hearted approach to Alzheimer’s care. She was also the editor of Wiser Now, an international award-winning monthly newsletter for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

Her interest in life stories began in the early 1970s as she began interviewing relatives to try to make sense of her father’s complicated genealogy. This was followed by a home business of writing the life stories of others, teaching life stories through the local community college, leading programming sessions in long-term care, and ultimately writing Getting to Know the Life Stories of Older Adults.

Kathy has a master’s degree in instructional technology and an undergraduate degree in English and journalism. She began putting these skills to work in the field of dementia while serving as the primary caregiver for her ever-cheerful mother, who died of Alzheimer’s disease in 1996.

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