Senior Living Communities Adopting New Program and Online Tool to Help Residents Create Autobiographies

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LifeBio.com empowers residents to record their life stories and preserve a lasting legacy for future generations.

Residents in senior living and active aging communities around the country are taking advantage of the opportunity to create their autobiographies as part of a new legacy-building initiative between communities, caregivers and the website LifeBio.com.

"Everyone has a powerful life story that deserves to be recorded and shared," says Beth Sanders, the country's leading legacy consultant and founder of LifeBio.com.

"Today's seniors have lived through some of the most amazing times in our nation's history, but very few have actually had affordable, easy-to-use tools at their fingertips to record it. Not only do residents in LifeBio communities have the opportunity to help capture the big picture of what was going on in the world during their lives, they also can capture their personal perspective to share with their families," added Sanders.

According to Sanders, the LifeBio Certified Community Program is currently in place at dozens of retirement communities from coast to coast in just its first year. "We expect our number of certified communities to triple in the next 12 months," added Sanders.

"This program allows caregivers and residents to get to know each other, it helps residents reminisce about their lives and it provides a lasting keepsake for family members," she said. "Most importantly, knowing residents' stories leads to quality relationships and care."

Ric Olson, President and CEO of Vibrant Living Communities and Services based in Downers Grove, Illinois, said, "LifeBio provides senior adults life changing opportunities to tell their stories in a powerful and meaningful way. LifeBio honors and enriches future generations by capturing legacies that frequently disappear from personal family histories because oral storytelling is fading from generation to generation."

As part of the LifeBio Certified Community Program, seniors work in small groups, independently or with the help of a family member, volunteer or staff member who asks questions each week. Answers are recorded in a web-based application or in LifeBio Memory Journals. The web autobiographies can then be accessed online, printed as a bound hardcover Legacy Book or output in an Adobe PDF file. Group classes on reminiscence recording are offered for people who like computers or for people who would rather use a journal.

"The LifeBio Certified Community Program is awesome," said Donna Gruis, Life Enrichment Coordinator at the Good Samaritan Society in Fort Collins, Colorado. "This program has generated excitement among the residents and in all levels of our community. It has helped develop relationships between residents, staff and volunteers."

Sanders said that independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care are looking for new ways to strengthen communication, deliver more person-centered care and help residents fight memory loss.

"The process of remembering details from your life story is not only rewarding, it has real cognitive fitness benefits too as we exercise the hippocampus region of the brain where memories are stored," Sanders explained.

"LifeBio questions made it much easier to stimulate my mind and record my life history. It's something I wanted to do for my children for a long time and LifeBio made it possible," said Mary McCreless, a resident at Good Samaritan Society's Fort Collins Village.

"More than 100 studies have been conducted in the past decade to prove that reminiscence is a tremendous contributor to healthy aging and wellness," Sanders said. "These studies reveal that reminiscence, recalling experiences and sharing life stories, has proven to improve staff to resident relationships, lower or prevent depression, engage people with dementia and reduce pain."

LifeBio products are available to individuals by visiting http://www.lifebio.com. Communities interested in implementing the LifeBio Certified Community program can visit http://www.lifebio.com/communities.asp or call 1-866-543-3246 for a free consultation. LifeBio's program will also be highlighted at the upcoming AAHSA (American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging) convention with the Tell Your Story Café sponsored by LifeBio.com.

About Beth Sanders:
Beth Sanders is frequently featured in the media for her expertise on legacy consulting, creativity and aging, and memory care. Her recent media credits include the Wall Street Journal, the AARP member newsletter and Jacqueline Marcell's Coping with Caregiving.

About LifeBio:
LifeBio.com is the nation's leading legacy company, helping people preserve relationships to last for generations. LifeBio, Inc. was the first company to empower users on the Internet to build their own autobiographies or the biographies of a loved one. LifeBio.com allows people of all ages and backgrounds to have a private place to share their life stories, upload pictures, and create a hardcover Legacy Book. LifeBio.com has partnered with senior living communities across the U.S. to impact many more lives, empowering people to say what matters most to the people they love through specialized curriculum. LifeBio is also encouraging senior living communities to connect deeply with residents through reminiscence and wellness initiatives.

It's time to tell your story...preserving relationships to last for generations. To learn more, visit http://www.lifebio.com or http://www.lifebio.com/communities.asp.

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Beth Sanders
LifeBio
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