Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Plug for Senior Writing

Steve Gurney, age 43, founder of the Guide to Retirement Living Sourcebook, recently lived for a week at the Paul Spring Retirement Community in Alexandria, Virginia (see my earlier post). His goal was to gain first-hand experience in order to "help families better understand this important transition."I expressed reservations about the usefulness of such a short, temporary stay, quite unlike the generally final move we elders make. Still, I admire Steve's purpose. You can read all about it at

One point that Steve Gurney made especially interested me: "The activities director of Paul Spring had prepared a “scrapbook” that includes a one page biography of most of the residents of the community. This was fascinating to read, and it gave me an easy way to engage some residents in conversation. Ask if there is something like this in communities you might be considering – I have seen very elaborate community biographies created by residents."

Of course I have been promoting senior life story writing for some time, but I especially like the idea of senior community biographies or autobiographies. They would make getting acquainted much easier. So far, no takers at The Clare, but perhaps I can get something started.

1 comment:

daccarte said...

Yes, I followed Steve's journey as well. Quite interesting.

My mother lives in Fairhaven, Sykesville (a CCRC community). One thing she loved when she arrived was that she was interviewed for her biography. A lovely resident visited, chatted and did the write-up. It was posted in their monthly newsletter and also inserted in a huge binder (of all the bios) kept in a common area. My mother still loves to stop by and read bios when she meets someone new.

My mother told me she never thought she'd ever have a bio written about her :-)