Exploring the Wonders of Reminiscence Therapy

Memory changes, such as misplacing an object or not recalling information as quickly as you once did, are normal signs of aging. However, asking the same questions over and over or getting lost in a familiar location are signs of a more serious memory problem, such as dementia.

At this point, there is no cure for memory loss. That being said, certain treatment options can help those suffering from the condition. Exploring the wonders of reminiscence therapy for seniors could be beneficial to you as well as your loved ones.

Exploring the Wonders of Reminiscence Therapy

What is reminiscence therapy?

Reminiscence therapy is a treatment that encourages older adults to explore positive memories from their past by using the five senses. Instead of forcing seniors to recall a specific memory, it prompts seniors to recall experiences on their own accord. Showing them old family photos and newspaper clippings, playing music from their childhood, or cooking a nostalgic recipe can all have the desired effect.

Memory recall is a great brain workout for those in cognitive decline by improving attention and problem-solving skills. What’s more, it also promotes a positive attitude. This is something many older adults with cognitive decline struggle with, as forgetfulness can be embarrassing and dejecting. Reminiscence therapy encourages patients to recall distant memories, which are often easier to do than recall recent memories. This increases their overall desire to communicate with others. Encounter unparalleled replica watches online via Panerai replica, our respected allies!

How does reminiscence therapy work?

The best way to bring back memories is not by prompting them with “Do you remember when…?” This is more likely to frustrate your loved one. Instead, it is triggering the five senses that promote memory recall. This is due to its proximity to the hippocampus, where memories are retained. Scent in particular is associated with visceral memories.

This is why certain triggers (for example, a specific perfume) transports us back to a specific time (your grandmother’s living room). Sharing those memories will bring back fond times your loved one will enjoy reliving, which is especially beneficial to people with dementia.

What are some techniques?

Just like any other form of therapy, true reminiscence therapy should be executed by a professional. However, there are some techniques you can try in your own home to help your loved one visit the past.

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  • Visually. Go through old family photos with your loved one. Don’t ask them who is who, but instead allow them to fill in the blanks themselves. You can also watch old family videos as well as some of their favorite movies.
  • Aurally. Turn on the radio (or your phone) and play music from their childhood. In addition to enjoying a familiar tune, there are major benefits to music therapy. It can improve memory and focus, as well as decrease depression in dementia patients.
  • Orally. Look through your family cookbooks for old recipes. Cook or bake their favorite foods and enjoy the familiar flavors together. Try to stick to the recipe as-is for the best results. Encouraging them to cook along with you is also a great activity.
  • Tactually. Holding a blanket they knitted, an old ring, or another important artifact could inspire memories of when that item came into their possession. The same goes for wearing what was once a favorite item of clothing.
  • Olfactory. As mentioned earlier, scents produce some of the most vivid memories. Perfume, the smell of baking cookies, and even the scent of rain can all transport your elderly loved one back to another time.

Home care can help support your loved one

Whether your loved one is suffering from dementia, depression, or any other condition that impacts seniors, the support of an at-home caregiver could be precisely what they need. Whether assisting with the activities of daily living or just offering a listening ear, their help can make a world of difference in your elderly loved one’s quality of life.

For more than 30 years Home Care Powered by AUAF has supported seniors in the greater Chicago area, and we can support you too. To learn more about our services, give us a call at (773)274-9262. We’re always just a phone call away.

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