How Seniors Are Sharing Stories With Future Generations
Education & Research LifeBio is an online platform that helps people from all walks of life pass their experiences and lessons along to the next generation.
We all have unique experiences that have shaped us into who we are today. Yet, when speaking with relatives, the conversation tends to center on the weather, health concerns or sports scores. But emerging online platforms are trying to deepen those rote conversations to aid in legacy-making while ensuring stories worth sharing are told.
One of the foremost platforms, LifeBio, collaborates with individuals, families, senior care and health care to provide users with a series of prompting questions online and a way to upload photos and video. LifeBio then uses their answers to craft printable, shareable storybooks.
“Facebook is nice, but what are your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions?” asks Beth Sanders, founder and CEO of LifeBio. “Deep sharing is so powerful for families.”
Sanders, a former journalist, came up with the idea after realizing her grandmother’s younger life was a mystery to her. She decided to ask her grandmother more questions.
“I don’t know what I want to know,” Sanders recalls thinking during their chat. But, once they dove in, Sanders saw her grandmother in a new light: “Wow, you’re a whole person, and I never saw you this way before.”
“Research suggests people are happier and more satisfied when they can reminisce and re-experience life.”
Spreading the word
Today, LifeBio organizes and automates the asking of key biography questions, be it for people facing dementia who want to preserve their memories, or healthy individuals or caregivers who want to tell a story about childhood, work, historical events or other life moments through time. According to Sanders, over 15,000 stories have been told through the platform so far.
Research suggests people are happier and more satisfied when they can reminisce and re-experience life. For Sanders, the platform’s clear value lies in lesson sharing and painting remarkable pictures of lives that persist long after an individual has passed.
“People have been telling stories for thousands of years, but in in this modern world, we are not always sharing the lessons of life: what we’ve learned about love and the challenges and the amazing moments. Your family and your friends lose when that information is lost or forgotten,” Sanders says. “We all learn things, and we can pass on our wisdom and values to the next generation and have a very powerful legacy.”