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Seniors living with dementia tend to lose their personal identity as cognitive abilities decline. Even as they lose touch with current events, they still hold on to some cherished memories. These memories are a basis for a unique form of therapy that helps people living with dementia recall their personal histories which can help boost their mood and reduce agitation. This procedure is called Reminiscence therapy.
This therapy is a technique that uses the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound) to help individuals remember events, people and places in their past to aid the treatment of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
This technique works by targeting memories that can most easily be recalled between teenage years and early adulthood in middle-aged or senior adults, using certain prompts and triggers, such as photographs, objects or simple activities. Simple activities for this therapy may include conversations, storytelling and some well advanced clinical therapies that help individuals recall events from their past.
Here are 8 benefits of reminiscence therapy for seniors.
This therapy can help seniors pass down valuable memories and past experiences to the younger generations. Memories that could have been lost can be told and preserved. Reminiscing about the past also helps bring families together and create a bond.
Reliving happy memories helps improve the outlook of life. It could help brighten the mood and put a smile on the faces of these seniors who suffer from dementia.
These happy memories help distract these seniors from their current situation and help them focus on happier thoughts. It boosts their self-worth and self-esteem, reducing depression in the process.
Recent studies have shown that recalling past experiences can improve one’s physical health. It has been known to lower blood pressure and reduce heart rates.
Seniors can find closure after looking back on old conflicts in their lives. Many people can learn from past mistakes and apply them in their present-day lives after reviewing past experiences with a more mature understanding.
Talking about the past and reliving memories can offer relief, provide laughter and even entertainment for seniors who are not as mobile and agile as they used to be. Happy memories can help keep them busy and brighten their day.
As seniors undergo this therapy and share their past, it increases their ability to communicate. Studies have also shown that as these seniors reminiscence their past, it forms new pathways in their brain that helps with communication.
Reminiscence therapy helps reduce stress levels in seniors. It helps them feel joyful and elevates their mood which helps reduce stress. It also helps them resolve issues from their past they may not have dealt with before.
Reminiscence therapy is highly beneficial for seniors and is highly recommended for dementia. It can help bring those cherished and positive memories into the light, where these seniors can find comfort and joy even at these trying times.