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Phil Benson & Danielle Andrews' Life Story Model...

Getting to know the person is at the core of the EachStep model of care. Phil Benson and Danielle Andrews know that the best way to do this is to find out who they are, what they like, what their life has been about, and why they feel the way they do. This interaction, which has led to some excellent relationships and outcomes between staff and the people they support, has inspired their Life Story Work.

Combining research from the University of Manchester and their own best practice, Phil and Danielle have developed a tool that helps staff to delve into the rich histories of the people they support and continue their story after joining the service. This tool is designed to help people remember events in their life, and how they affected them emotionally.

Traditionally, Life Story work focuses on the important events of a person’s life, but by also understanding how these events made them feel at the time, EachStep’s staff are able to interpret residents’ emotions and behaviour when their short-term memory fades and they see life through the prism of their long-term memories.

On using the tool, staff teams have reported that even the smallest insights have given them a far better understanding of someone’s personality; enabling them to provide a more joined-up and personalised service. As well as reflecting a person’s history, the stories are also continued throughout their support at EachStep, showing their journey did not end when they joined the service.