How We Use Reminiscence Therapy to Help Seniors Thrive
Reminiscence therapy has been clinically observed as one of the best treatments for symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. At Town Square, we believe everyone should have access to this incredibly effective therapeutic modality, which is why we make it available through our programming to everyone who comes to our centers.
Town Square’s adult day care services are structured with the best practices of reminiscence therapy in mind. Starting with our entire look and physical structure, we use immersive sensory engagement to spark positive remembrance and stimulating conversation. Our staff is trained to initiate socialization and promote participation in the ways our members are most receptive to.
What Are Reminiscence Therapy Services?
We all know what it means to reminisce – to look back upon our fond memories, and sometimes talk about them with the people with whom we shared them. Healthy, regular reminiscence has psychological benefits for anyone and everyone, including gaining awareness of the lessons one has learned in the past, getting closure, or improving satisfaction in the present.
Pioneering research by the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers has found that reminiscing is all the more important for people with clinical memory or cognitive impairments. The application of guided remembrance with the aid of trained facilitators is called reminiscence therapy. This memory care practice has a host of health benefits – reduced agitation, improved mood overall, fewer physiological stressors due to lower anxiety, and a better quantity and quality of nightly sleep.
How Does Reminiscence Therapy Work?
Modern research on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia has found that more recent memories are affected by these conditions first. Conversely, therefore, some of the most strongly-retained memories are those from a person’s formative years as an individual – their teens and early twenties.
People with dementia are frustrated and confused when their memories fail them, leading to a feedback loop: increased stress and agitation only makes their general mental state more disorganized. Recalling memories that can be accessed vividly and strongly can halt this pattern.
When people realize that they do have strong memories, they have a jumping-off point for engaging with the present via their past experiences. While there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, reminiscence therapy can mitigate many of the symptoms. This approach leads to increased satisfaction and better social interactions.
How Is Reminiscence Therapy Performed?
Reminiscence therapy consists of guidance in recalling, discussing, and processing a person’s most significant memories, given by a trained professional. This may involve specific conversational approaches, cueing sense memories, or direct prompts, or a combination of these, just as Town Square delivers for our members holistically through all of our activities.