An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

The importance of reminiscence therapy                                                Home page  here

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The numbering system serves to aid sessions with 
volunteers and other sessions with carers. 

Let's begin with the Dementia Friends – Bookcase analogy  here


1    Stage 1

1.1  Commonsense   

The simple aim of reminiscence therapy is to build on what remains of long-term memory to aid the more dysfunctional short-term memory.  It includes helping carees improve and maintain good mental health. 

1.2   Dementia is a priority 

  1. Reminiscence therapy is a biographical technique that involves either group reminiscence work , where the past is discussed generally, or the use of stimuli such as music or pictures. Links not included  here Google

  2. Although closely related to reminiscence therapy, life story work tends to focus on putting together a life story album for an individual. Links not included Google

  3. Evidence suggests that reminiscence therapy can lead to overall improvements in depression and loneliness and promote psychological well-being. here   here Google

  4. Research also supports the view that reminiscence therapy, including life story work, can improve relationships between people with dementia and their carers and thereby 'benefits both'.    here Google 

  5. Other reported benefits include enhancing the opportunity to provide personal and individualised care and assisting the individual move between different care environments such as home to care home, or between care homes 
          From - Supporting those with dementia: Reminiscence therapy and life story work here

1.3    More simply put

1.3.1 In a nutshell
  1. While your caree might not be able to remember what she/he had for lunch, she/he is very likely to remember the wedding day, the name of a favourite school teacher, or a childhood holiday. 

  2. Reminiscence therapy uses this ability to recall events that happened long ago, even when short term memory is failing. 

  3. It can also help to boost their mood and stimulate wider conversation. 

  4. Anecdotal evidence suggests that stimulating long-term memory can also improve short-term memory and increase the self-worth and engagement of someone with dementia.     

1.3.2 What actually happens?
  1. The carer, relative, friend or professional reminiscence therapist will start by showing the people they're working with some key multi-sensory items designed to trigger memories. 

  2. For example, a photograph of the Queen's coronation, a 1950s kettle, or an old fashioned egg whisk. 

  3. She ((the person leading the session, not the Queen (!)) might also play a popular song from the 1940s, or show clips from a film of the same era. The items are then used to stimulate conversation and remind the person (or people) with dementia of their identity. 

  4. If they’re in a nursing home, or have domestic professional carers, it’s also a great way for the staff to get to know them better, and gain an understanding of the richness and complexity of their lives before they had dementia.

1.3.2  Why it works
  1. Reminiscence therapy allows someone with dementia to enjoy a good conversation and the benefits it brings, although it’s probably less beneficial to people with frontotemporal dementia or those in the later stages of dementia. 

  2. Recalling positive memories makes everyone feel happy, and if you have dementia and are battling depression, good memories can become a powerful way to boost your mood. 

  3. Reminiscence therapy can turn a 'bad' day into a 'good' day – or even a good week. 

  4. Many people say their loved one seems brighter and more able to recall recent events from the past few days or weeks after a session of reminiscence therapy.

2   Stage 2

2.1   Carers and volunteers

  1. The previous section is probably enough for carers and covers two 45 min sessions.  

  2. Volunteers might have joined them or had two sessions on their own with the DIY DMC leader or someone else.

2.2   Volunteers
  1. They study the remainder of the Internet article - source - hence header graphic

  2. They discuss same and a plan and budget are formulated 

3  Stage 3

3.1  Use of no-cost techniques
  1. Within caree discussion - establishing interests, capabilities, and capacity

  2. Singing without accompaniment

  3. Independent carees and carers bring in their memorabilia   

  4. See 1.1.8 here.  Reminiscent of formats which can be the vehicle for carees creating their own Qs & As. 

  5. Carees and carers in two or four teams write five or ten-question 3.1.7-tests to challenge other teams withina championship.  Volunteers quietly moderate.  Someone has brought a bell to end each set of questions.  

3.2  Use of low-cost techniques
  1. Each caree is given a notebook to record whatever is important, things they want to do

  2. The DIY DMC log or diary will be used for short-term reminiscence

  3. Singing with accompaniment - preferably with carers (Shed talk) making simple instruments, (see 1.1.1 here   4.3.23 here), and/or learning new ones  

  4. Simple art materials will be used

  5. Knit mice and natter, and hum a happy tune - beneficial, productive and min cost here

  6. Carees and carers in two or four teams write five or ten-question rem-tests to challenge other teams within a championship.  Volunteers quietly moderate.   Someone has brought a bell to end each set of questions once the session gets going.  

to be continued

to be considered

The extent and frequency of war-time rem.  You may have carees/carers who are old enough to have many memories.

Ross DIY Dementia Meeting Centre - First donation!  here 

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