Welcome to Memoir

Written by Ellen Ryan [[email protected]]

Life review is one of the central tasks of resilient aging. Writing one’s memoir, or stories from one’s life, is a productive activity that can be carried out alone, in a group, or within the family.

Sharing life stories and family history serves future generations and enhances intergenerational communication.

Intergenerational Memoir Project with McMaster University

Since 2020, Hamilton Aging in Community has paired senior volunteers with McMaster students majoring in Aging and Health. Each term about 15 pairs work together on the senior’s memoir project. Sometimes, the senior is collecting material written over the years. Sometimes, the senior is writing down life stories for the first time, often at the urging of loved ones.

Please contact me, Ellen Ryan, at [email protected] for additional information and to inquire about taking part in an upcoming semester.

PUBLICATION FROM THE Intergenerational Memoir Project, January, 2024

Our Intergenerational Memoir Project (Hamilton Aging in Community and McMaster University) is featured in a set of nine articles in the January 2024 issue of SAGEING, a Canadian online journal.

https://sageing.ca/sageing47.html. Our articles (edited by Ellen Ryan and Stephanie Wickens) appear on Pp 4-31. The Cover Image is from Steph’s 5 paintings of the life cycle of tulips.


Each year, we hold a Memoir Fest online to feature selections of memoirs produced within the Intergenerational Project. See these videos to experience the benefits of writing life stories, especially with a young partner on the way to working in the aging and health field.

Memoir Fest 2021

Memoir Fest 2022

Memoir Fest 2023

Memoir –Resources

Through my website Writing Aging & Spirit, I have been promoting the writing of memoir – as much process as product – for more than ten years.

Below are some resources for writing memoir:

Memoir- Bibliography

Memoir – Quotations

Writing Exercises

To see our blogs on Memoir, click here