Reminiscence and Story Telling
This Easter holiday is the perfect occasion to engage elders with dementia. The role of storytelling and reminiscence is very important for elders, as they look back on their life and holidays bring strong long-term memories. It gives them a chance to socialize as they tell their story. It also means someone usually listens or documents. That magically gives the elder social interaction and connectedness. So many Easter rituals can prompt stories for elders with some level of dementia. The ritual of dying easter eggs, finding easter baskets on Easter morning, dressing up for the local Easter Parade, eating ritual foods at Easter dinner or at Easter Brunch. Whether the older person is actually participating or watching, these rituals can prompt stories from their long-term memory.
Elders sharing stories means passing on history.
This gives the older person a chance to give the larger picture of their life and family history to children and grandchildren or extended family, who may have not heard all the details of their grandparents or parents’ life before- what they cooked, what they did on holidays like Easter. So the quality of the older person of both the older person and the aging family is increased through oral history and reminiscence
The aging professional can suggest family or friends just sitting down and prompting a story or oral history using technology like your phone
Even elders with Alzheimer’s can find new joy with Reminiscence
When an elderly person develops Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, the short-term memory is frequently affected but long-term memories can remain as intact and vivid as they have always been during the course of the patient’s life. As a result, a family can use a practice called reminiscence therapy to help combat the frustration, confusion, and depression that can often accompany dementia and even bring joy to the older person
What is reminiscence therapy?
Reminiscence therapy is like a therapy session where the elderly person will spend time recalling memories of his or her life, perhaps telling stories about things that happened and events the person can recall.
Sometimes senior experts or family members can use photos, familiar objects, or other such things to help jog the memory of the patient. Some therapists and family members can a scrapbook of a person’s life, including photos, letters, and other such personal memorabilia. This becomes a visual biography of the patient’s life and helps the older person remember who he or she is.
How does this quality of life therapy help? Almost all elderly men and women can start feeling discouraged and frustrated with their memory issues. Reminiscence can give peace and acceptance of the current situation by helping the person remember that he or she has had a good and full life. It also prompts communication skills of elderly people who otherwise may not feel very compelled to open up and share anything with anyone else.
Dementia and Reminiscence of Easter
So this Easter holiday try reminiscence. People with dementia can receive a richer quality of life when people actually listen to them. They feel as their thoughts and feelings actually matter. For anyone who has an elderly loved one suffering from dementia, this benefit alone can make reminiscence therapy a form of joy for a very confused elder. So when you dye Easter eggs, create easter baskets, do an Easter egg hunt, serve an Easter brunch or dinner, get them involved, let them watch, allow them to help if possible, serve them ritual food or to taste it and ask when how they experienced these rituals, when they were young. If you have old albums of pictures from their childhood of them at Easter, look and the photos with them. Then listen.
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