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Reminiscence Therapy for Seniors with Dementia & Alzheimer’s

By Lauren Robinson, 6:27 pm on

Caring for an elderly parent or loved one who is struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s is a responsibility that is both challenging and emotional. While family caregivers in New Hampshire provide constant supervision and help their loved one with daily activities and personal care, it often doesn’t feel like enough. Unable to prevent the progression of the disease, many family caregivers feel helpless and if they are losing the person they once knew.

Although there is no known cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s, reminiscence therapy is being recommended by New Hampshire Alzheimer’s care specialists, with the primary goal of strengthening cognitive memory components for patients. To participate, family members simply need to engage in meaningful conversation with their loved one a few times a week. If possible, utilize props, sounds, textures, tastes, and objects to evoke past memories and spark the senses. Some great examples that can be used to start conversation include:

–          Old Films and Movies – Classics like The Three Stooges or Charlie Chaplin can create powerful memories of the era. In addition, these films and movies also have the ability to bring laughter to dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.

–          Photographs of Family and Friends – Being able to recognize certain faces often prompts patients to tell stories, allowing them to relive emotions and joy from the past.

–          Children’s Toys Toys aren’t necessarily meant for playing with in this situation. Many times toys have the ability to act as memory prompts. For example a tractor may remind your loved one of time growing up on a farm or a doll could evoke senses of being a mother.

–          Prompts from Nature – If your loved one enjoys being outdoors or used to partake in outdoor hobbies such as gardening, simple things such as flowers, seashells, feathers or stones may stimulate thinking and inspier conversation.

By having your loved one reconnect with past memories through storytelling, they are able to strengthen their ability to communicate. Many dementia and Alzheimer’s patients experience increased feelings of self worth and importance through routine sessions of reminiscence therapy. In addition, the high level of engagement from storytelling offers a distraction from the day to day problems and also acts as a way to combat feelings of depression.

If you have an elderly loved one who suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s and are in search of additional assistance when it comes to their care, contact Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of senior care and our professional caregivers are highly trained and certified to provide care for seniors who suffer from severe memory loss. From companionship to help stimulate memory and cognitive thinking to full time assistance to ensure safety and comfort, our caregivers are available twenty four hours a day seven days a week. Enhance the quality of life for your elderly loved one and contact us at 603-471-3004 to speak with a reservation manager and schedule a free in-home consultation.