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The Many Benefits of Reminiscence Therapy

Feb 08,2023

“Misty Water-Colored Memories…” A walk down memory lane. Now that you will be humming that song all day (you’re welcome ), let’s learn about reminiscence therapy benefits for someone living with progressive memory loss.

What is reminiscences therapy you ask? In simple terms, it is a focused activity that uses prompts and words that spark conversations about enjoyable memories from someone’s long ago past.

Interestingly, events and facts “retrieved” and “remembered” more frequently over a lifetime are those better recalled.

Fun fact, you do not need to be a professional to lead this kind of activity, all you need to be is interested in bringing joy to someone you know that has been diagnosed with a dementia.

  • Here are some suggestions for you to interact with your loved one and learn more about their life well lived.
  • Focus on their “reminiscence spark era” – If they are born in 1950, find materials from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
  • Discuss their previous hobbies or interests.
  • Go through family photos and awards.
  • Use sensory prompts, such as flowers, scents, knitted or crocheted clothing.
  • Follow a family recipe.
  • Listen to music or watch fun clips on YouTube.
  • Sand and paint a woodworking project.
  • Have short conversations about holidays, first jobs, favorite places in their community.

Reminiscing can give people with dementia a sense of competence and confidence while using a skill they still have. It has a positive effect on their mood, eases confusion and anxiety and brings the people participating closer together.

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