What is Reminiscence Therapy for Adults with Alzheimer’s?

January 21, 2019

reminiscence therapy for adults with Alzheimer’s

If a senior you love has Alzheimer’s disease, reminiscence therapy can help them reconnect with happy memories.

When a senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, family members may struggle to find ways to help them feel engaged and connected to the world around them. Short-term memory is often affected early in the disease process, leaving the senior feeling isolated and alone. That’s where programs like Reminiscence Therapy can help.

Reminiscence Therapy (RT) is based on the idea that recalling happy memories helps families to bond and allows a senior to relive positive experiences from the past.

It works because it doesn’t rely on the individual’s impaired short-term memory. The practice of reminiscence utilizes long-term memory that might still be intact. Researchers believe this therapy can help reduce anxiety and depression among adults with dementia.

We have a few ideas to help you utilize Reminiscence Therapy at home.

Utilizing Reminiscence Therapy with a Senior Loved One

  • Ask long-time friends and family members to share copies of old photographs. Explain that your goal is to help your loved one reconnect with photos that will elicit happy memories.
  • Think about what other items may trigger positive memories. Was your loved one a teacher? Put together a box of supplies they may have used for teaching, such as a ruler, a small chalkboard, and an assignment journal.
  • Music is another avenue for connecting with the past. Create a play list of your family member’s favorite music from their youth. Talk about the artists who sang each song and the memories they recall when listening.
  • Like music, old movies are another way to reminisce. Find DVDs of some old classics that you can watch together. It might be fun to include younger members of the family too!
  • Aromatherapy doesn’t always have to be a fancy diffuser and essential oils. Baking can also trigger recollections of happy times. For example, the smell of an apple pie or pecan rolls in the oven may help a senior remember pleasant memories with a parent or grandparent.

Memory Care at Legacy Senior Living

At Legacy Senior Living communities, we’ve earned a reputation for excellence in caring for adults with Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia. In our memory care communities, called The Harbor, we are committed to helping each resident live their best quality of life.

From a home-like setting to thoughtfully planned meals, we invite you to schedule a personal tour to learn more. Call the Legacy community nearest you to set up a time today!