Creative life story work with seniors


  • Petra Brandoburová Centrum MEMORY, Mlynarovičova 21, 851 03, Bratislava
  • Simona Adamovičová Centrum MEMORY, Mlynarovičova 21, 851 03, Bratislava



life story, seniors, reminiscence, creative activities


We summarize the theoretical background and basis for creative activities focused on the life story work with the seniors as realised in “Centrum MEMORY“, Bratislava, Slovakia. Older adult clients with various levels of cognitive functioning could benefit from the combination of creative and reminiscence activities. The importance of creativity and its benefits in senior life is outlined and emphasized


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Petra Brandoburová, Centrum MEMORY, Mlynarovičova 21, 851 03, Bratislava

MA. in psychology

psychology of later life

Simona Adamovičová, Centrum MEMORY, Mlynarovičova 21, 851 03, Bratislava

MA in psychology

psychology of later life


Addams-Price, C. (1998). Creativity and successful aging. New York: Springer.

Basting, A.D. (2006). Arts in Dementia Care. Generations, 30, 16-20.

Batchelor, V. (2009). Creativity. In Birx, H. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of time: Science, philosophy, theology & culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 238-244.

Bohlmeijer, E. et al. (2005). Creative reminiscence as an early intervention for depression: Results of a pilot project. Aging & Mental Health, 9(4), 302–304.

Brady, E., & Sky, H. (2003). Journal writing among older adults. Educational Gerontology, 29(2), 151-163.

Butler, R.N. (1963). The life-review : An interpretation of reminiscence in the aged. Psychiatry, 26, 65-76.

Clarke, A., Hanson, E.J., & Ross, H. (2003). Seeing the person behind the patient : enhancing the care of older people using a biographical approach. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 12(5), pp. 697-706.

Cohen, G. (2004). Uniting the Heart and Mind : Human Development in the Second Half of Life. A joint program of the American Society on Aging and MetLife Foundation.

Cohen, G. (2005). The Mature Mind : The Positive Power of the Aging Brain. New York : Basic Books.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). The domain of creativity. In Runco, M.A., & Albert, R.S. (Eds.), Theories of creativity. Newbury Park : Sage Publications, pp. 190-212.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). Creativity across the life-span : A systems view. In Colangelo, N., & Assouline, S. (Eds.), Talent Development III. Great Potential Press, pp. 9-18.

Fasnacht, P. (2003). Creativity: A refinement of the concept for nursing practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 42(2), 195–202.

Fisher, B., & Specht, D. (1999). Successful aging and creativity later in life. Journal of Aging Studies, 13(4), 457–472.

Flood, M., & Phillips, K.D. (2007). Creativity in older adults : a plethora of possibilities. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 28 (4), 389–411.

Flood, M., & Scharer, K. (2006). Creativity enhancement : possibilities for successful aging. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 27(9), 939-959.

Flora, S.R. (2004). The power of reinforcement. Albany : State University of New York Press.

Formosa, M. (2013). Creativity in later life : possibilities for personal empowerment. In Hansen, A. et al. (Eds.), Creativity, lifelong learning and the ageing population.Ostersund : Jamtli Förla, pp. 78-91.

Frugé, C.F. (2016). Creativity and Aging. [online], available : [accessed 02/03/2016]

Gibson, F. (2011). Reminiscence and Life Story Work. London : Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Hannemann, B.T. (2006). Creativity with dementia patients : Can creativity and art stimulate dementia patients positively? Gerontology, 52(1), 59-65.

Harries, B. et al. (2013). The Storybox Project:Examining the Role of a Theatre and Arts-Based Intervention for People with Dementia. Manchester: University of Manchester.

Hickson, J., & Housley, W. (1997). Creativity in later life. Educational Gerontology, 23(6), 539-547.

Kaufman, J.C., & Sternberg, R.J. (2007). Resource review : creativity. Change : The Magazine of higher learning. [online], available : [accessed 28/02/2016]

la Cour, K. et al. (2005). Creating connections to life during life-threatening illness : Creative activity experienced by elderly people and occupational therapists. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 12(3), 98-109.

Larson, R.T.H., Perlstein, S. (2007). When words are not enough : art-based methods of reminiscence. In Kunz, J.A., Gray Soltys, F. (Eds.), Transformational Reminiscence : Life Story Work. New York : Springer Publishing Company, pp. 123-142.

Levenson, M. et al. (2005). Self-transcendence: Conceptualization and measurement. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 60 (2), 127-143.

Lindauer, M. 2003. Aging, Creativity and Art: A Positive Perspective on Late-Life Development, New York : Springer Publishing Company.

Machado, S. et al. (2009). Alzheimer’s disease and implicit memory. Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria, 67 (2), 334-342.

Pallasmaa, J. (2005). The Eyes of the Skin. Chichester : John Wiley and Sons.

Pesut, D. (1990). Creative thinking as a self-regulatory metacognitive process: A model for education, training, and further research. Journal of Creative Behavior, 24(2),105–110.

Price, K.A., & Tinker, A.M. (2014). Creativity in later life. Maturitas, 78(4), 281-286.

Reed, I. C. (2005). Creativity: Self-perceptions over time. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 60 (1), 1-18.

Reese, H.W. et al. (2001). Effects of intellectual variables, age, and gender on divergent thinking in adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25(6), 491-500.

Sternberg, R.J. (2006). The Nature of Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 18(1), 87-98.

Sternberg, R.J., & Lubart, T.I. (1991). An investment theory of creativity and its development. Human Development, 34(1), 1-31.

Stephenson, R.Ch. (2006). Promoting Self-Expression Through Art Therapy. Generations, 1, 24-26.

Tranter, L.J., & Koutstaal, W. (2008). Age and flexible thinking : An experimental demonstration of the beneficial effects of increased cognitively stimulating activity on fluid intelligence in healthy older adults. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. 15(2), 184-207.

Treffinger, D.J. et al. (2012). Creativity in the Person : Contemporary Perspectives. LEARNing Landscapes, 6(1), 409-419.

United Nations (2016). The Universal declaration of Human rights.[online], available : [accessed 10/02/2016]

Watt, L. M., & Cappeliez, P. (2000). Integrative and instrumental reminiscence therapies for depression in older adults: Interventions strategies and treatment effectiveness. Aging & Mental Health, 4(2), 166–177.

Webster, J.D., & Haight, B.K. (2002). Critical advances in reminiscence work : From theory to application. New York : Springer Publishing Co.

Westerhof, G.J., & Bohlmeijer, E.T. (2014). Celebrating fifty years of research and applications in reminiscence and life review : State of the art and new directions. Journal of Aging Studies, 29, 107-114.

Willemse, B.M. et al. (2009). A creative reminiscence program for older adults with severe mental disorders : Results of a pilot evaluation. Aging & Mental Health, 13(5), 736-743.

Zimprich, D. et al. (2009). Openness to experience, fluid intelligence, and crystallized intelligence in middle-aged and old adults. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(4), 444-454.




How to Cite

Brandoburová, P., & Adamovičová, S. (2016). Creative life story work with seniors. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 7(1), 54–63.