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Spotlight on Carer Support Life Book Group

Tuesday, 04 October 2022

Ray and Judy Hogan resizedA Barwon Health Carer Support initiative is helping carers and their loved ones experiencing memory loss to create a meaningful tool to share details about their lives when they attend hospital or respite.

Held over four-sessions, the group supports participants to create a ‘life book’, compiling special memories and photos to provide an insight into a person's life. Participants also complete a questionnaire to assess a person's needs and what matters most when they are entering hospital or respite.

Barwon Health Carer Support Worker Linda Verhoeven said a ‘life book’ can help to reduce the confusion and anxiety created around memory loss for carers, care recipients and staff and also be a great conversation starter with family and friends.  

“People can include anything in the book that gives insight into a person’s journey through life, to help remember significant events and to prompt discussions on topics of interest,” said Linda.

“Participants can include certificates, awards, photos of family and pets, poetry, funny quotes and drawings - carer's and their loved ones often take a lot of pride in their life book and we have wonderful feedback of them being shared with grandchildren and the lovely conversations that follow.”

Eighty four-year-old Ray, a former builder, was diagnosed with dementia two years ago and entered residential aged care last year.

Ray’s wife of 26 years Judy described participating in the Life Book Group as a really enjoyable experience for both of them.

“We photocopied photos and stuck in memories about Ray’s life including pictures of our family, the truck he used to drive when he had a business, photos of our dog Derek and other important things in our life,” Judy said.

“Ray carries the book with him every day in the seat of his walker and it means people caring for him can see a snapshot into the kind of life he had before he became unwell – he has been the most wonderful husband to me.”

The Life Book Group offers a nurturing and relaxed environment for carers and their loved one to talk and share experiences.

Barwon Health Carer Support hosts two groups per year, often with the support of Dementia Australia. 

Upcoming Life Book Group

When: Fridays - 28 Oct, 4 Nov, 11 Nov & 18 Nov from 1pm to 4pm.

Where: Barwon Health Newcomb Community Health Centre, 104-108 Bellarine Hwy, Newcomb.

RSVP: Phone (03) 4215 7600 or email [email protected]