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Place-Biosketch as a Tool in Caring for Residents with Dementia

Chaudhury, Habib PhD

Feature Topic: Therapeutic Environments

As human experience happens within the context of places, places can serve as a tool in understanding personal life experiences. Personal place-related experiences can be used to reconnect with people with dementia to their past. Information about past places, such as childhood homes, neighborhoods, and schools, as well as homes in early adulthood, is a potential resource for understanding the person behind the symptoms of dementia. In this study, place-biosketches of residents with dementia were developed based on interviews with the family members. A staff survey was conducted to assess the potential utility of the residents' place-biosketches in understanding the residents' personal life histories and programming activities that may be meaningful for them.

Assistant Professor in the Gerontology Programs & Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.

The author wishes to acknowledge the guidance of Prof. Gerald Weisman, Prof. Dale Jaffe, and Prof. Christine Kovach, all at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in this study.

Address correspondence to: Habib Chaudhury, PhD, Assistant Professor, Gerontology Research Centre and Programs, Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre, 2800–515 West Hastings St, Vancouver, BC, CANADA V6B 5K3. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.