Remember When: Reminiscence Therapy and Alzheimer's

We have all had those times sitting around the table after a meal with family or friends remembering the fun and fond memories, telling stories and laughing about the funny thing that happened. It brings smiles to our faces, a chuckle or maybe even laughing till the tears run down our cheeks.  That kind of reminiscing is good for the soul.  It is good for the heart.  It brings a sense of identity.  This is just some of the reasoning behind reminiscence therapy for seniors facing declining memory function like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Triggering memory recall through reminiscing sessions has shown to improve quality of life, relieve stress, reduce aggression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and improve interaction with caregivers, treat depression, improve social interaction and improve mortality rates. This type of therapy has been shown to improve heart health and, according to the American Psychological Association, improve psychological wellbeing.  If your loved one has a declining memory or has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s check with their doctor or local senior resource center about the availability of this type of therapy.  There are many resources online that can also assist with more information. 

You can help your loved one reminisce and improve communication.  How can you get started?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Look through an old photo album together
  • Ask them about their favorite movies
  • Listen to their favorite songs or music together
  • Make them their favorite recipe and ask them about their favorite food
  • Ask them about their favorite Knick knack or collectible
  • Ask about favorite vacations or special occasions in their life
  • If your loved one has trouble communicating tell them a story about your life and rejoice for the mumble, a word, a gesture or a smile!
  • Avoid painful memories

"Remembering when" can be therapeutic for all of us but especially for our senior suffering with dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Have questions about what to do next caring for your loved one?  We can help.  Call us today at 772-220-6005 or visit our website at www.vipamerica.com.  We have been making in-home care referrals for 23 years.