Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reminiscing and dementia

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals.Benevolant Society

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care  professionals to get an easyceu or two

What is reminiscing?

Reminiscing Manual version 1,
The benefits of reminiscing
Someone with dementia may only give you a small piece of themselves – all
there is, and enough, at that moment. That small piece is precious and may
become a strand or thread woven into your life as well. The fragments may,
like the creation of a mosaic, gradually be pieced together and something new
is created (Coaten, 2001, p 21).
Outcomes for the older person: one-on-one
When reminiscing celebrate the richness of life experience, allowing in the
process and the voice of the person to be communicated, however it is
expressed (Coaten, 2001, p19).
Involving an older person in reminiscing has many benefits for that person.
Some of these benefits are:
Increase the ability to communicate and practice self expression.
Increase social interaction through the sharing of experiences.
Increase feelings of belonging and togetherness.
Emphasise the individual identity and unique experiences of each
their experiences.
Allow the older people to take on a teaching role through the sharing of
Help people to come to terms with growing older.
Encourage older people to regain interest in past hobbies and past
Encourage creativity.
Increase self worth and provide a sense of achievement.
Reduce apathy and confusion, especially in confused or disorientated
(St George Museum, 2004, pp 4-5)
Alleviate depression.
Increasing life satisfaction.
Improving self-care.
(Jones, 2003, p 27)
Helping older people deal with crisis, losses and life transitions.
(Wareing, 2000, p 22)
Meeting psychological and emotional needs.
(Spencer and Joyce, 2000, p 20)
Involvement in a meaningful and pleasurable activity and positive
The Benevolent Society, 2005,
ABN 95 084 045
Reminiscing Manual version 1,
Outcomes for the older person in a group
There are some unique outcomes for people who participate in reminiscing as
part of a group. Some of these outcomes are:
individual member and of the personal effectiveness and significant
contribution of each participant
Increase awareness among group members of the uniqueness of each
and concerns
Increase realisation that other group members may share similar problems
and achievements
Gain knowledge and understanding about the older person’s life, history
Find links between the older person’s past experience and present
understanding more about a person can facilitate more meaningful contact
Assist the relationship between older people and their carers, asProvide.....more next time

Benefits for the carer, family and volunteer

Reminiscing not only benefits the older person but the carer, family member
and volunteer who may be engaging the older person in the activity. Some of
these benefits are:
Increase the sense of belonging and acceptance by the group

Sometimes we remember because our memories have been triggered
involuntarily by a favourite song or tune and sometimes we remember on
purpose. Reminiscing gives us a pleasure and a sense of relatedness and
connection with what has gone before (Coaten, 2001, p 19).
Reminiscence allows us to relive events from our past. It is a process which
focuses on the personal way we experience and remember events, rather
than on chronological or historical accuracy. When we reminisce we don’t
simply recall random events in a cold factual way. With reminiscing we are
able to relive the experiences that are personal to us in a way that is vivid and
Reminiscing encourages older people to become actively involved in reliving
and sharing their past with others. Although reminiscence involves recalling
past events it encourages the elderly to communicate and interact with a
listener in the present. Reminiscence groups can operate on different levels.
Groups can be run with older people and with a range of competencies
including those who are confused.
As a recreational activity reminiscence can provide occupational and leisure
activities for older people. As a means of psychological support reminiscence
is aimed at generating self-esteem and the expression of individual identity.
Reminiscence can also be used as a therapeutic tool to aid the life review
Reminiscing kits can contain items from the past that will be of significance to
the lives of elderly people. Interaction with objects from the past is an
important way of stimulating responses and can provide a focus for the
recollection of deeply embedded memories. As memories can be triggered by
a variety of different senses people will respond to the objects differently. The
use of objects as prompts for memories is especially useful when working with
people who have dementia.
(St George Museum, 2004, pp2-3)

The Benevolent Society, 2005,
ABN 95 084 045

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