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The Legacies Project

Published October 21, 2009 1:28 PM by Jason Marketti
When I worked in Palm Springs I held a tape recorder for a gentleman during the therapy session who was recounting his time in the war and in great detail his time in Burma.  It was fascinating to hear this man's history.  He was doing it so his family will have a better understanding of him and a record of what he accomplished. 

Not too long ago I read about The Legacies Project--which is doing something similar, but on a larger scale. 

Jay Nelson and Jimmy Rhoades (www.nicework.tv/about.html) formally collaborated on the concept of collecting videotaped oral histories of residents in nursing homes by building it into school curricula. 

"Students are trained to enter nursing homes over multiple visits to videotape comprehensive oral histories of residents.  Then they're trained to add informational tags to the video, so that when oral histories are added to the project archive, it's fully keyword searchable," Mr. Nelson explained.

Jimmy Rhoades elaborated, "We want the archive to have the most value possible, so the entire project has Institutional Review Board Certification through the University of Michigan - Flint.  The lead researcher is project partner Dr. Heather Seipke, who is a Certified Gerontologist.  The students who do the interviews are actually trained to be Certified Research Assistants, which looks pretty good on a college application.  It also lets future historians who access the archive know that proper research protocols were followed when the stories were gathered."

Jimmy points out that participation of residents is voluntary and they can decline to answer any question or end an interview anytime. "So far the facilities, staff and participants have been not just cooperative, they've been really enthusiastic and gone above and beyond to make the project a success."

In early 2010 http://www.legaciesproject.org/ will be up and running with samples of their work and short stories. 


In "ADVANCE for Long-Term Care Management," a sister publication, we have a similar program called "Senior Stories." Come on over and check it out at: http://long-term-care.advanceweb.com/Article/Senior-Stories-Lucy-Capazzoli.aspx.

We are always looking for people to interview, so if you have anyone who would like to talk to us, please contact me at Cali@merion.com.

Adkins-Ali Carrie, , Editor Advance for Long-Term Care Management December 11, 2009 7:36 AM

I agree this is a wonderful program and will be valued by others who look up events from the past.  These two have expounded on an overdue program that the elder population have knowledge of.  Imagine the changes the older population have encountered throughout thier lifespan and finally it will be categorized for the world to see.  

Karen October 26, 2009 12:33 AM

This is a wonderful thing to do for these residents. They are more than happy to tell about their time in war and the things they have accomplished in their past. I work in Long term care facilities and many of the men and women have and enjoy telling their sotries of war time and how the country has changed. I often bring my children to work and allow them to "visit" with residents while I work. They are fasinated by the stories and often "tall tales" these people share.

This is a wonderful project and needs to be projected to every facility in the country. The things these people can teach us is a blessing and we all need to take time to slow down and learn from their experiences.

Carla , PTA October 23, 2009 10:34 AM

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About this Blog

    Jason J. Marketti
    Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
    Setting: San Jacinto, CA
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