She created a project that became special to caregivers and patients alike.
- Posted on Dec 26, 2017
It was one of my first tasks as a hospice volunteer—helping the families of patients fill out their life review forms, which the hospice caregivers would consult to get to know their patients better. Some of the questions on the form reminded me of a scrapbook I was working on. Why not make scrapbooks for the patients? I thought.
My supervisor gave me the go-ahead. Talking to a patient named Edith, I discovered not everyone had enough photographs and mementos to fill a scrapbook. Edith had never married or had kids, but she had been a Rockette. I made a poster featuring the highlights of her life to hang in her room instead.
Edith’s smile upon seeing the poster let us know we were on to something. We called the poster project Chart-a-Life. The posters, which feature photos and information about careers and interests, families and friends, have proven to be more than decorative. They help caregivers see the patients as individuals, and they offer visitors good conversation starters.
Other facilities in the region heard about Chart-a-Life and have used it as inspiration for something similar. One nursing home makes personalized place mats.
Whatever form it takes, I think it’s a great way to celebrate a person’s life.
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