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The Importance Of Reminiscence Therapy: Sharing Christmas Memories With Seniors
One of the many benefits of living a long life is the wealth of wonderful memories acquired through interactions with friends and family. Over the holiday season, thinking back over the past is a part of the celebration, and it is a perfect time to use a version of reminiscence therapy to engage seniors in family conversations.
Capital City Nurses offers companion care services for seniors in the Frederick, MD, area. Our highly trained home care providers use a form of reminiscence therapy to talk with our seniors and to help them feel more confident and connected over the holidays and throughout the year.
Reminiscence therapy provides the opportunity for seniors to think back and recall events from their past. This can include telling stories of past holiday celebrations, looking through family photo albums, recalling special events, and communicating at a very deep and meaningful level to the senior.
The Power of Nostalgia
The holidays are a time that is rich with specific sensory events. As part of our home care services, we can bake or make special meals with the seniors. The smell of holiday cooking is often the strongest trigger for unlocking wonderful memories.
In addition to looking through photograph albums and asking questions, our senior home care providers can also play songs from the past, set up playlists for seniors, or help them tap into all of the wonderful nostalgia clips on YouTube or other platforms.
The family can also use these techniques. They can be especially positive for seniors with Alzheimer’sand dementia, providing soothing music, special favorite foods, companionship, and visual stimulation of photographs or visits from friends and family members.
Involving the Whole Family
As part of our senior companion services, we support the family in having a therapeutic Christmas for all generations. We can help the seniors create a scrapbook or album of pictures that are meaningful to them, allowing the seniors to share these messages with their children, grand children, and perhaps even great-grandchildren.
This is a wonderful way to improve the quality of life of the seniors, allowing them to connect with their families at an appropriate level. Some activities a senior may be able to participate in over the holidays include holiday decorating, helping with baking or meal preparation, or spending time sharing reminiscences of holiday traditions and celebrations from their past.
Important Tips for the Family
The family needs to understand this is a positive, comfortable, and fun way to provide mental wellness for the senior throughout the year. The holidays are a great starting point in the process and offer a lot of stories and fond memories that can be shared.
The team offering in-home care services for the senior will make specific suggestions to adjust the activities to the senior's cognitive ability. The family members should focus on empathetic listening and supporting the senior in sharing memories and stories. The focus is not on the accuracy of the senior's information, but on allowing them to communicate and feel valued and important in the family. Be patient and recognize the senior may repeat information, but recognize it is beneficial they are talking and sharing.
This is also a great time to consider preserving memories. Creating a memory album, writing out stories, and adding pictures, both past and present, is a great activity for the whole family. Making voice recordings of beloved reminiscences is also a way to keep this information throughout the year.
In addition to our mental health and wellness support, our team also provides a safe home environment and medication management for seniors throughout the year. We focus on overall health, exercise, and proper nutrition, assisting seniors through a customized plan tailored to their unique needs.
For more details on our companion care services in Frederick, MD, call Capital CityNurses at 866-807-7307.