Today’s Healthy Tidbit:  Reminiscence Therapy

    Have you heard about Reminiscence Therapy?  I hadn’t until I read about it in one of AARP’s fabulous newsletters.  I wanted to learn more so I googled it and here’s what I found:

The sharing of knowledge, wisdom and life experience can improve our quality of life.  It also helps care givers gain a better understanding of the person in their care. 

There are advantages to both the caregiver and senior in helping preserve and share those memories, providing a more meaningful experience for all involved: It provides a historical record through tracing stories behind the traditions and heirlooms, compiling photos, family recipes and family keepsakes to create a legacy for loved ones.  A more positive attitude increases following reminiscence therapy. 

The recalling of past events and positive reflection is a psychologically healthy form of communication that is important and is a normal part of life.  Positive reminiscing is the recollection of past accomplishments and positive feelings.  It can happen through direct questioning or in relaxed conversation.

It reduces boredom and reduces feelings of helplessness and/or isolation in the lives of seniors. 

It helps us identify who we are and where we come from; how our past experiences and events shaped us and our families’ lives;  examining the choices we made as adults and the results of those decisions, quite simply, makes our lives better. 

Talking, reflecting and connecting, with caregivers and with each other, can help make sense of loss and grief and is particularly helpful for dementia patients. 

It helps us find commonality with those we think we have nothing in common with.  And for those who reside in a shared living situation, the therapy can assist those who still have full cognition to find connection with those whose cognition is declining.

   Bottom line –  We improve our perception of life through pleasant memories – those pleasant memories lift our mood, enhancing our daily lives.  Preserving memories helps preserve integrity and instills optimism.     Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Memories to all !