Reminiscence involves the discussion of past activities, events and experiences, usually with the aid of prompts such as photographs, old newspapers and other familiar items from the past.
Discussions can cover anything from the royal family to the type of washing powder used! We use as many techniques as possible to stimulate people’s senses and try to cater for every need and ability. Audio and visual materials, such as video footage of famous sports matches, have also been found to be useful, as have different smells. Reminiscence is thought to improve cognition and general well-being in older people suffering from various forms of dementia and is a vital way of promoting confidence and self-worth whilst helping us to gain valuable insight into their lives.
What Do Volunteers Do?
Volunteers introduce clients to objects, smells and sounds that may trigger memories and promote discussion. The aim is to facilitate discussions by asking appropriate questions and stimulating conversation in a non-directive manner. Volunteers work in pairs with small groups so that people feel more inclined to express themselves and their feelings. The size of the group is influenced by people’s abilities; there are situations where one-to-one therapy is more appropriate. For less able clients, just exploring the smell and feel of an object constitutes a successful session. As with all our visits, it is also important to remember that the person you are working with may just appreciate your company, or having someone to sit with and hold their hand.