Family Carers Matter

What is the course about?

This two day course will help family carers understand the benefits of life stories for themselves, for the person they care for and for paid staff. Life story work provides a way for family carers to re-connect with their loved ones, particularly if they have communication difficulties arising from dementia or other conditions.  Family members can work together creatively to produce the life story in whatever way suits the person best – for example a DVD, photograph album, collage or memory box.

What does the course involve?

The course is interactive, using practical exercises to demonstrate the importance of communication and building rapport and illustrating how to get started with life story work. The two days are held approximately six weeks apart, to give participants the opportunity to try out some of the techniques and to reflect on their experience.

Who is the course aimed at?

Family carers who provide care and support to other people, including those who receive substantial assistance from paid staff either at home or in residential care. Organisations may wish to include a course for family carers in a training package on life story work for their organisation, so that paid staff and family carers can work better together.

What will family carers learn on the course?

  • The importance of relationships and how to build rapport
  • The importance of seeing people as individuals with their own stories, histories and future hopes
  • How to use life story work as a way of improving communication with those cared for and with paid staff who support them
  • How to use life story work to encourage the person cared for to create a record of their life to date, along with their hopes for the future
  • How to identify appropriate support to help undertake life story work

By the end of this two day course, family carers will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of rapport and how life story work can keep positive communication alive for you as carers and for others involved in your loved ones care.
  • Understand the principles underpinning life story work – what it is and what it is not.
  • Understand the benefits of life story work.
  • Be able to begin to use life story work.
  • Be able to work with others involved with the cared for person and to enhance community connections.
  • Recognise how using life story work supports the person with dementia receiving care that respects their dignity and human rights.
  • Understand how life story work fits into promoting dementia friendly communities.