Saturday, November 6, 2010

Life Review: a task for family or friends


My cyberfriend, Victor Humphries. A navy man from Australia. I enjoyed talking to him about his life.

Many facing the end of their lives can benefit from looking back and reflecting. In fact, CHEO's Roger's House, a respite care site for children, uses such tools. It is a common and healthy activity.

One of the things I have done with my Hospice clients, and the men and women with whom I have volunteered in LTC, enjoyed talking to me about their lives. I created a PPT for one of my clients, but he passed away before I could present it. He was feeling rather defeated. His wife passed away. At age 92 he was feeble, and failing. We spent many hours creating a memorable presentation on his life. I did meet an Aussie on-line. Victor Humphries, who wrote to me about his life.

In fact, writing your ideas is a healthy way to focus on the positives. If one cannot write, having a friend or family member do a formal interview can achieve the same goals. An autobiography helps a senior realize their life lessons. It shows Respect for a life well-lived.
  1. Tell me about your childhood.
  2. Where did you grow up?
  3. Did you like school?
  4. What was school like?
  5. What about your best friends?
  6. What did you do for fun in your youth?
  7. Tell me about overcoming an obstacle in your life.
  8. What is your deepest regret or disappointment in your life?
  9. What do you think are the most important things about life?
  10. What do you think about death?
  11. What are your life’s achievements?
  12. What do you find are the most satisfying things in life?
  13. Who have you admired and why?
  14. Describe the kind of person you have been.
  15. What were the happiest moments in your life?
  16. What mystifies you about life today?
  17. What is your favourite food?
  18. What messages would you like to leave your family?
  19. Is there anything else you would like to say?

From nursing article •Life Review in Critical Care: Possibilities, CCNurse. 2010;30: 17-27 Mimi Jenko, Leah Gonzalez and Paul Alley. Critical Care Nurse. Vol 30, No. 1, FEBRUARY 2010 27

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