We encourage those we care for to positively reminisce about the past in a number of ways. Often, the chance for conversation and this ethos around reminiscing is unintentionally woven into the regular programme of activities on offer at Rochcare homes. Nevertheless, we know reminiscing is hugely important, especially for those we care for living with dementia and provides moments of joy and connection for all.
Sharing stories from the past, when short-term memories are hard to recall, can be really reassuring, decreases stress, reduces agitation and helps support meaningful relationships between residents and care professionals.
As well as using reminiscence boxes and books, which contain grouped objects or pictures that spark conversations, we like to start conversations about a chosen theme that the people we care for have in common.
Recently, one of our senior carers at Pendle Brook Care Home wore her wedding dress to work. This presented an opportunity for the ladies and gentlemen to discuss their own weddings, weddings of loved ones and ask questions about her special day too. The residents were also treated to bubbly and nibbles to toast the bride with and even recreated her first dance. By also engaging other senses and encouraging physical stimulation, the afternoon was made into a more memorable event rather than just a conversation piece and should be a fond memory for the future going forward.
Another organic example of encouraging reminiscing took place at Royley House Care Home recently. Two residents were asked to help decorate a Christmas tree in the home’s communal dining room. While adding decorations and sipping cups of hot tea, memories of Christmas from the past, families and their children were shared. The repetitive and considered motions of adding each decoration one by one encouraged them to slow, allowing a natural conversation to flow, rather than feeling rushed or forced.
The opportunity to feel valued, contented and peaceful while recalling happy times from the past is something we will always champion, and is another way we support the people we care for to live full and meaningful lives. Find out more about the Rochcare approach to care here > https://rochcare.com/dementia/