Using Reminiscence Therapy to Connect with People with Dementia – Pitoies
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Using Reminiscence Therapy to Connect with People with Dementia

20 Mar 2023 0 Comments
Using Reminiscence Therapy to Connect with People with Dementia
Helping Individuals with Dementia Stay Connected to Their Passions

As someone progresses through their dementia journey, it becomes increasingly important to help them maintain connections with the things they love. This activity is all about finding out what brings joy to the individual and discussing it with them. It could be a favorite film star like Marilyn Monroe, a beloved sport like cricket, an art genre like abstract, or something else entirely. Every person is unique, so it's crucial to take the time to learn about their interests with the help of friends or family.

Once you have this knowledge, you can tailor reminisce sessions using photos, articles, TV clips, and other memorabilia related to their interests. These sessions can be regular, whether it's every few days or once a week.

To get started, you'll need a variety of things related to their interest, including films, televised events, printouts of articles, photographs, and other memorabilia.

Here's how to conduct the activity:
a. Schedule regular visits for the reminisce sessions and plan out what you will cover during each visit.
b. Visit the individual in a quiet and distraction-free environment, such as their room or where they are seated.
c. Greet them by holding their hand or gently placing your hand on their hand or forearm.
d. Sit at their eye level and ask them how they are doing. If they cannot respond verbally, look for visual cues such as changes in breathing, head movements, hand or eye movements, and respond accordingly by letting them know how you are doing or talking about something that is happening that day.
e. Hold eye contact and let them know you will be spending some time with them discussing their passion.
f. During the first visit, discuss their interest, read a few facts, and show a few photos.
g. During the second visit, watch a film or event on TV together.
h. During the third visit, look at more photos, read articles, and show memorabilia.
i. During the fourth visit, watch something on TV again.
j. Create more sessions about the same interest but change the format slightly.
k. During your visits, regularly hold their hand or arm to give reassurance and be aware of any verbal and nonverbal responses.
l. Take cues from the individual and continue with what you are doing if they seem relaxed.
m. At the end of each visit, let them know you will be returning to talk about their passion and provide information on where they are in the day, such as mentioning that it's time for a tea break or lunch will be ready soon.

Top tip 1: If something sparks a moment of joy, such as reading an article or watching a scene on TV, don't hesitate to do it with them again on your next visit.

Top tip 2: If you have any pictures, place them on a wall where they can easily be seen, or keep them close by so they can be picked up and looked at.

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