Life Story Work: A Supportive Tool for End-of-Life Care

Life Story Work: A Supportive Tool for End-of-Life Care

Posted on
September 5, 2022
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As you know, end-of-life care can be very trying on patients and their loved ones alike. Everyone needs to deal with the stress, pain, and grief of a situation like this, but it can be even harder if people lack the tools to communicate effectively about their feelings and desires for the future. Fortunately, Life Story Work (LSW) provides those tools in an easy way that allows patients to have their say while also listening to others' perspectives. This blog will explain how LSW works and why it’s so beneficial in an end-of-life care situation.

What is Life Story Work?

Life Story Work is a type of therapeutic process, used by therapists and caregivers, to help elderly clients create an autobiographical story about their life. This can be used as a tool for end-of-life care as well because it helps with closure and settling unfinished business.

What are the benefits of Life Story Work?

Rather than have your loved one work to make sense of their life alone, Life Story Work will allow them to share the story of their life with an interviewer. This allows them to understand how they are feeling about themselves and what is important to them in their own terms. 

In addition, since our interviews can be completed remotely over the phone or in person, end-of-life care does not need to take up precious space in your loved one's home or become a burden on those close by.

Who needs this service?

LSW can help an individual, a couple, or a family at any stage of life and at any stage of illness. For example, assisting children who have chronic illnesses and their families as well as adult survivors of childhood cancer. Regardless of the reason, if you want to make sense out of your life by considering how it all fits together, working with someone in life story work will help. 

Are there any limitations?

Life Story Work is limited to individuals, couples, and families who have a caregiver in the midst of providing end-of-life care. This work also isn't suitable for those who are grieving. However, Life Story Work may be done at a later time if desired by clients. For an individual who has a spouse or partner, Life Story Work will involve both parties.

How is this service provided?

Rather than having the standard end-of-life care sessions, Life Story Work follows a different approach. Through discussions and workshops, caregivers can help loved ones create a cohesive narrative of their life stories and create a connection with their loved ones before they pass. This method provides support and relief during what may be one of the most difficult times in an individual's life.

Do people typically experience a noticeable result?

People typically experience a noticeable result when they go through a Life Story Work session with a therapist. People are often deeply relieved to finally share and get some understanding of what is most important to them, and also how their legacy is impacting the people in their lives. People are also able to see what kind of legacy they want to leave behind and this can be incredibly healing as they come face-to-face with the reality of life’s end.