The Many Benefits of Reminiscing

The Many Benefits of Reminiscing

Our life experiences and memories make up a large part of who we are. Seniors in assisted living can benefit greatly from the positive feelings gained from sharing pleasant memories. There are plenty of ways to help seniors reminisce, which can lead to decreased stress, reduced agitation and boost mood.

Reminiscing has many positive effects that can benefit aging adults by using both written and oral histories to improve psychological and physical well-being. Pictures can even prove helpful. Memory care has a lot to do with helping individuals remember life’s experiences by using sight, sound, taste, touch and/or smell. This type of therapy can include a variety of methods, from scrolling through images, singing old songs, or talking about past events. As a result of these proven methods, seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s are able to enhance their mood and reduce episodes of agitation. There are a host of reasons why reminiscing with residents in senior assisted living is beneficial. 

9 Reasons Why Caregivers Should Reminisce with Residents

  1. Helps improve quality of life
  2. Preserves family history 
  3. Reduces symptoms of depression 
  4. Promotes physical health 
  5. Works through unresolved conflicts
  6. Eliminates boredom
  7. Improves communication skills
  8. Reduces stress
  9. Enhances Self-Esteem

Memory Care Is A Power Tool

Seniors who recount past experiences can pass on valuable memories for future generations, bring families closer together, and continue family legacies. 

Seniors who reminisce over happy experiences often show improved outlooks on life. It helps to eliminate depression, and these seniors sometimes smile more. It increases their self-esteem, which in turn can benefit physical health. 

The truth is, even revisiting old conflicts can give seniors present closure. Talking about the past can offer relief, entertainment and laughter. Laughter can often be the best medicine. Research also shows that memory opens new pathways in the brain that benefits communication. Reminiscing allows seniors to resolve issues and deal with negative emotions. 

Helping Seniors Reminisce

Some seniors often need a little help getting started sharing their stories – there is an added sense of joy that comes with helping others relive good memories.

  • Photographs and albums

Flipping through old photo albums brings back memories of people, places and things. Images often stir great conversations. Start with high school yearbooks and photos from family vacations. 

  • Music brings back memories

Hearing specific songs that made an impact on them will bring back positive memories. This music can range from wedding songs and childhood top-of-the-charts music. Music is very powerful and can produce great results. 

  • Objects of memory Lane 

Use objects from home, perhaps even homemade gifts or souvenirs to discuss memories associated with them. Ask questions like, “How and when did they get it? Why did they have it? What made it special to them?”

  • Relive holiday traditions

Discuss their memories about past holidays. Help seniors relive some of their most special moments by recreating memories that meant the most. 

  • Revisit favorite movies

Everybody has seen a great movie in their lifetime. Find out their favorite childhood film or the first movie they saw in a theater. Ask open-ended questions to revisit what they liked most about the movie. Perhaps even watch the movie again with them to help stimulate their memory. 

Ral National Association Memory Care Tips

The Residential Assisted Living National Association is here to provide information, resources and support for RAL owners and staff. We provide the kind of support that empowers owners and operators to administer quality senior care. Visit: www.RALNA.org to learn more. RALNA advocates for residential assisted living business owners and operators supporting them with legal expertise, continued education, national marketing, group purchasing power and a continual positive voice for the industry.

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