Reminiscence Therapy for Elderly Adults

Memories…every day we’re forming new ones, but there is something especially heartwarming about revisiting those from a long time ago. For seniors with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, with a decreasing capability to retain short-term memories, those from many years’ past are all the more cherished.

In fact, reminiscence therapy for elderly adults is becoming increasingly popular for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The rewards are wonderful, including a better connection and sense of value and self-worth, and a boost in confidence and joy. It is also a terrific way to overcome stress and the difficulties inherent with day-to-day life with Alzheimer’s disease.

Keep in mind that reminiscing and remembering have specific variations. While asking an individual if he or she recalls a specific place, person, or event may result in unfavorable feelings if that individual cannot recall the memory, reminiscing adjusts the focus towards the individual with dementia, allowing him or her to steer the conversation.

For example, sit with the older adult and start looking through an old scrapbook, and see which photographs strike recognition and ignite a spontaneous conversation. And, realize that some memories might be painful, in which case you can choose to provide kind, supportive listening, or very carefully redirect the individual to a more pleasant memory.

Listed here are three additional reminiscing activities; experiment to determine which are best received by your loved one:

  • Music. The connection to music for those with dementia is simply remarkable, as the part of the brain responsible for musical memories often remains intact long after other cognitive abilities have been compromised. Try listening to favorite music from the past, singing along, or joining in with simple instruments.
  • Scents/Tastes. Our senses of smell and taste are usually also effective approaches to tap into earlier memories. Create scent jars, containing smells that might be recognizable to the older adult, such as pinecones and pine needles if she or he lived in a wooded area while growing up, and try to replicate favorite snacks that your loved one enjoyed as a young child.
  • Touch. There are also plenty of ways to engage the senior with tactile activities to spark memories. Much-loved past activities such as knitting, gardening, crafting, sewing, or working with tools might be modified in line with the older adult’s particular ability and interest levels. Even just getting the chance to hold a skein of yarn and knitting needles, or placing hands in a tub of cool, damp topsoil can bring to mind pleasant memories.

Inspired Home Care’s professional team in Alzheimer’s are highly skilled in meeting older adults with Alzheimer’s where they are, and helping ensure they reach their fullest possible potential, independence, and enjoyment in life every single day. Call us at 847-787-7572 for a no-cost in-home assessment, during which we get acquainted with your loved one as well as the challenges being faced, and let you know how exactly we can help. To learn more about our top-rated care for Alzheimer’s in Chicago and the surrounding areas, reach out to us today.