Title of ArticleMoving stories: exploring the LIFE session storytelling method as a way of enhancing innovative, generative outcomes in practice
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sEdel Roddy, Tamsin MacBride, Annette Coburn, Anna Jack-Waugh and Belinda Dewar
ReferenceVolume 11, Issue 1, Article 6
Date of PublicationMay 2021
KeywordsAppreciative inquiry, care homes, community, generativity, learning, storytelling

Background: Storytelling is an important tool for enacting relational approaches to practice development in care homes. Using storytelling methods can enhance the capacity of care home communities to respond to the emerging needs of people living with dementia.

Aim: To explore the potential of the LIFE session storytelling method as a route to innovation in practice.

Method: The method described in this article is the Learning and Innovating from Everyday Excellence (LIFE) session method, developed as a culture change initiative by facilitators from the My Home Life care home initiative in Scotland. LIFE sessions aim to take stories from everyday practice and use a structured format of four questions to help people talk collaboratively about ideals and practical ideas that can be taken forward to benefit those who live, work in or visit the care setting.

Results: A total of 14 LIFE sessions took place as part of Kinections, a broader study exploring community in care homes. The following reflections were derived using illustrative examples from three of these storytelling sessions, used in this study: the sessions helped move stories from the specific (one resident) to the universal (practice development and culture change that can benefit everyone in the home); the sessions involved a process that could in itself support development of connections among those involved; and they inspired and encouraged people to feel confident to bring their learning and ideas into practice in a timely way.

Conclusion: This article illustrates how the LIFE session method can be used to structure a discussion that uses a short everyday story as a route into a generative conversation that can inspire innovation in practice.

Implications for practice:

  • LIFE sessions provide a format for illustrating the significance and potential for learning and development of everyday experiences in care homes. They can be facilitated reasonably quickly, with a wide range of people and across a wide range of topics
  • LIFE sessions can facilitate generative experiences and encourage generative outcomes through those involved feeling inspired and enabled to take forward small, meaningful ideas and actions

This article by Edel Roddy, Tamsin MacBride, Annette Coburn, Anna Jack-Waugh and Belinda Dewar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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