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Will writing your memoir be good for your health?

In a word–YES!


Past APH President Pat McNees wrote about the beneficial effects of life story and legacy activities in the Geriatric Care Management Journal, Spring 2009, and posted a condensed version of that article on her website.


  • Research indicates that health care professionals working with cancer patients near the end of life should be asking, “Tell me about your life.” The palliative effect is greater than drug-based therapies.
  • Two studies in 2008 and 2009  found that legacy activities have a beneficial therapeutic effect for both patients and caregivers.
  • Research by Robert Butler, a leader in the field of gerontology, points to life review as a normal function of the later years, with memories, reminiscence, and nostalgia playing a part in the psychological task of coming to terms with life.
McNees also mentions the work of Dr. Gene Cohen. I posted previously about Cohen’s work on developmental stages in older adults and the benefits of life review. “Like chocolate for your brain” he called it.

Let me buy you a cup of hot cocoa and let’s talk about getting you started writing your memoir. It’s good for your health!

-Sarah White



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