Reminiscence Therapy makes a big difference for Seniors with Alzheimers or Dementia.
So you probably already know, reminiscing refers to recalling pleasant memories from the past. What you might not know is that it’s actually recognized as a legitimate form of therapy for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of Dementia. Pretty cool, huh?
Reminiscence therapy has been proven to be a beneficial activity for many residents of assisted living or seniors at home with caregivers on many levels. This type of therapy involves all five senses to help people recall events from their past. Using an object to touch, see, smell and taste all help spark a memory from long ago. Activities can range from a simple conversation to using props and clinical methods to help retrieve long-ago memories. It seems like such a simple concept, but these activities make a tremendous impact on the daily lives of our dear elders.
“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose” – Kevin Arnold
The article “The Benefits of Reminiscence Therapy for Seniors” reports that the benefits of reminiscence therapy in a memory care community or at home with a caregiver/family member can be substantial. Unfortunately, loved ones with Dementia often become isolated from their identities as their memories fail and the daily challenges of living overwhelm the past. Storytelling can be used to help decrease these negative feelings by connecting senior’s long-ago memories with the present.
Benefits of storytelling for those with Alzheimers or Dementia include:
- Increased ability to communicate. Often, when you watch someone re-tell a story, you watch them come alive with memory and emotion. Research has shown new pathways in the brain form as a patient remembers the past.
- Provide relief from boredom, a distraction from day-to-day problems.
- Alleviate symptoms of depression and helps cope with aging.
- Reestablish life meaning for a person through connection to the past and reassert that person’s feeling of importance.
- Increased self-worth and sense of belonging in the world.
- Preserve stories and memories for future generations.
Do you know someone who would benefit from using storytelling as a reminiscence therapy activity?
With a question prompt on the cover and icon designed to spark past memories, greetingStory cards feature multi-sensory stimulation to help uncover memories from long ago. Pass It Down offers two editions of greetingStory Memory Boxes. Pick and choose the greetingStory Memory Cards you’d like to receive, or select a “Biographer Box” (it’s like your own personal oral historian, only thousands of dollars cheaper). Click here to try greetingStoryMemory cards as a storytelling aid today.