Reminiscence Therapy

Reminiscence therapy with older people

Remembering the past or reminiscence therapy can bring a great deal of satisfaction and understanding for anyone. For the elderly, it is a way to affirm who they are, what they’ve accomplished in their lives, and a chance to relive happy times. For those who suffer with dementia, it is a way to talk easily about things they do remember.

It is also a way for residents of assisted living facilities such as residential care homes, to become better acquainted with one another, which is helpful for carers as well as families.

Reminiscing has taken place since the beginning of time through the storytelling of family histories across all nations. Modern gerontologists have studied the benefits of reminiscence therapy with dementia patients because long-term memory is the last to go. By talking about their childhood and early adulthood, older adults who live with dementia are more confident about socialising and using their verbal skills.
Reminiscence therapy is the process of recalling personal experiences from an individual’s past. The theory behind reminiscence therapy is that an individual’s function is improved by decreasing demands on impaired cognitive abilities and capitalising on preserved ones.

Reminiscence therapy and props from the past

Reminiscence therapy has been shown to be helpful in reducing reclusive tendencies that cause depression and anxiety. Additional benefits can include helping individuals come to terms with growing older, encouraging older people to regain interest in past hobbies and pastimes, increasing self worth and a sense of achievement, and reducing apathy and confusion, especially in people who are confused or disoriented.
Reminiscence therapy sessions may consist of individual or group settings or take place during everyday interactions and activities of daily living. Group sessions may meet weekly or bi-weekly in community-based settings or at residential settings like assisted living or nursing facilities. The sessions give clients an opportunity to bond, while becoming more familiar with each other.  Read more on our blog post here: