Since 2013 Justin has been working with hospice patients at John Taylor Hospice, creating their Life Echoes. Through a series of one-to-one sessions and the completion of a written life map called a “memory atlas“ with patients and carers, participants are encouraged to share positive memories which can be triggered by sounds.
Justin then makes a Life Echo, an individual recording featuring these sounds. Each participant can then recall memories triggered by these sounds from the past just at the click of a button.
Patients at the hospice have focused on a range of sounds from their childhoods, early working careers, families and even holidays. Many have reported that the Life Echo process has helped with long-term memory retention as well as creating a sense of well-being.
A study by Leicester University found a range of positive effects resulting from participation in Life Echo:
- Sparked a curiosity in the participants.
- Participants appreciated and recognised a value in their memories.
- Generated a high level of engagement, where the participants were visibly animated as well as visibly absorbed particularly when listening back to the soundtracks or their drafted Life Echoes.
- Increased enjoyment and socialisation in the participants through actively participating and working with others.
- Helped participants gain confidence and supported them in returning to activities they would have previously done and potentially can still do but had avoided since becoming ill.
“Life Echo has really helped patients at John Taylor Hospice recall memories which they thought they had lost,” says Justin. “But it not only works as a memory aid, it also promotes well-being, socialisation and confidence.
“From this work we have now looked at ways of developing and adapting Life Echo so that it can support people in a range of different settings including schools, emergency services and charities supporting people with difficulties including homelessness, dementia and end of life conditions.”
“We have been delighted to work with Justin over the last few years with regard to the Life Echo project. We have seen first-hand the benefit to our patients at John Taylor Hospice and believe it has many possibilities to support a range of areas across society to improve wellbeing.”
Penny Venables, CEO of John Taylor Hospice