5 - Life stories


Life stories or narratives have been used extensively in health care teaching and offer teachers and instructors a way to help students understand the lived experiences of people who use social and health care services. According to 1000 Lives Plus, patient stories or narratives can support learning and education, inspire, change attitudes and mindsets and be used as part of research. In terms of learning and education, stories can improve care by creating dialogue, identifying needs and creating improvements. They can also help healthcare providers to see the person as equal to the treatment/care enabling a focus on the person and not just the outcomes (1000 Lives Plus, 2012). In addition they can help to inspire healthcare workers by reminding them about why they do what they do and they can also help to shift attitudes and to endorse good work while also bringing attention to flaws (1000 Lives Plus, 2012). Older LGBT people have been described as a doubly invisible group and ensuring their voices are heard and that their stories are included as part of the ageing narrative is essential to not just raise awareness of their existence but to acknowledge their unique needs as health care recipients. While life stories are most widely told in person, this is not always possible, therefore other mediums can be used including, but not limited to videos, case studies, poetry, art, books, photography, pod casts etc. The aim of this unit is to provide some guidance about using life stories with students and provide some examples of how life stores can be used to help students develop and awareness of the life context of older LGBT people.


To provide guidance to teachers who wish to use older LGBT life stories as part of their teaching

Target group

Teachers and trainers in vocational education and their students


Level 2-3-4 in vocational education


Extra support from the teacher might be necessary depending on the ability of the students to work independently