The Benefits of Reminiscence

Reminiscence therapy is reported to improve the quality of life of those with dementia and reduce loneliness. Additionally, it shows a significant effect on global cognition and memory functions in people with dementia, as a multicenter study with 148 people in Portugal,  recently published in the Clinical Neuropsychologist, shows.

Reminiscence therapy helps those with memory problems to relive their past. It boosts their confidence and relieves loneliness. It makes people with dementia feel more valued and connected to their community. It can also prolong independent living.

What happens during the reminiscence therapy session? The therapist engages the patient in reminiscence activities. The therapist encourages the patient to share their memories. The process can be boosted by the participation of family members and friends. This person can provide details and context to the memories. Everyone listens to the stories and does not try to prevent the participants from sharing them. During the sessions, the patient can experience the joy and happiness of remembering things from the past. The experience of remembering is beneficial for self-esteem and a sense of control.

Moreover, this treatment can also reduce unwanted behaviors. It can help people with memory loss to feel more connected to their family and community. 
Reminiscence therapy can be a powerful tool for caregivers to help their loved ones deal with a debilitating illness.