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Capturing a retirement village resident’s life is a truly wonderful initiative 

Jane Pickering and her leadership team at the Adelaide Not For Profit Eldercare deserve high praise for an initiative that works on so many levels. 

A biography service is available to residents in its 12 retirement living villages, which allows residents to record their life stories for friends, family and posterity.  

Two experienced biographers, Ross and Eva Curts, who are volunteers, help residents to talk about their life’s journey in their own words during six one-on-one sessions.  

Then, Ross and Eva type up the words and create a biography. At the end of the process, a printed copy is presented to the resident together with a digital copy.  

Confidentiality is assured throughout the process; only the participant determines who will see their story. Eldercare covers costs so that the service can be made available free of charge.  

91-year-old College Green resident Fran Forbes (pictured with Ross) was one of the first retirement living residents to sign up and participate.  

“I have certainly had my ups and downs over my long life,” says Fran.  

“I’m sure I would never have been able to record the story of my life without the help of a biographer, so this really has been a wonderful opportunity. I’m so pleased that my story has been captured for the benefit of my family – now, and into the future.”  

Biographer Ross said it is mutually beneficial.  

“It is always wonderful to hear the rich detail of a life lived over so many years, detail we rarely hear unless perhaps we are someone’s best friend. A biography ensures that a lot of this detail is secured and treasured. And it is a rich experience for an older person to spend time dwelling in their own experiences and memories through the process. Everyone has their own story, and every story is valuable.” 

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