4.4 - Reminiscence

Reminiscence refers to memories from the past and how to weave these memories into situations today. One way of doing it is by telling stories about the past. Another way of reminding is to show pictures of items that can rekindle old memories. Examples of trigger objects that can bring back memories of earlier decades can be photo books, clothes, shoes, or items from a special event or from a special lifetime event such as marriages, parties or clothing from previous eras. Other things of importance that trigger memories can be hand crafted items from the care recipients house.

It is also possible with other interactive things to trigger old memories such as documentaries from past decades and music from childhood and youth, or from ceremonies and holidays.

A residence for persons with dementia can be furnished with things that were common in homes in the forties, fifties, sixties, or seventies in order to be triggers for those living there. If a person does not bring a lot of things that can be used as triggers, this can be helped by the staff that can organise memory boxes from a specific decade or from a season, in order to create conversations with the care recipients.

For the staff, it is important to be aware of feelings that can come along with the reawakening of memories. As a staff member, you should be present and listen when memories are revived as this can open up stories to be told, which can bring about laughter or sorrow. Through holding a hand, the person is not alone with their memories, but can share it which is preferable.

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