Reminiscence pages -
"Reminiscing promotes emotional well being
and reduces isolation, loneliness and depression"
Who says my mind has gone away
I see my youth there every day
I replay my life where none can go
I meet the friends who've had to go
So don't tell me I'm getting old
And now must do just what I'm told
I laugh and play inside my head
And wander paths that once I tread
So when it seems I am not there
It's just a thought I cannot share
Please be patient with me when I'm slow
I might be somewhere else you know
I hope you too can store away
The memories of what we share
Then in the late days of your time
You can recall as I do mine
MEMORIES by Bob
Memory is a remarkable gift and memories are very
precious. We all carry them on life's journey. Everything we have ever
experienced is etched somewhere in our minds.
For most people the idea of becoming aged is something to
be held in dread. Many have little or no communication with the elderly,
apart from helping an `old lady' on or oft the bus. But we older
people are all around, and many of us have a wealth of knowledge and
experiences to share, to those who care to listen.
In these pages we will try to coax you into remembering just a little (or a
lot) from earlier days. At least we can let you read about other
peoples memories - you may be surprised how common some of the memories can
Send me your memories to add to this section
Uncovering Memories: What Is Reminiscence?
When we reminisce, we recall memories, review them,
and recapture the emotions that went with them. All of us engage in this
reflective process from time to time; it is a normal and vital part of
Why Is It Important for the Elderly?
In later life reminiscence takes on a more significant
role: it's how older adults get in touch with things and times that were
important to them. Through reminiscing they find meaning in their memories:
this helps to maintain their sense of identity, builds self-esteem and helps
raise the overall quality of their lives. At a time when older adults may
feel vulnerable, isolated or lonely, recalling and communicating their
experiences helps to improve their mental, emotional, social and sometimes
physical well-being. In reminiscence, older adults have a powerful, natural
resource. This book shows you how to help them use it.
Benefits of Reminiscence
Reminiscence by the elderly has all too often been
devalued, regarded as a turning away from reality, living in the past and
even seen as mental dysfunction. We now know, however, that exploring the
past is an enriching experience which provides deep personal satisfaction as
well as many other important benefits.
- Through the communication and sharing of memories,
friendship and understanding are forged; this social interaction heals
loneliness and isolation.
- Uncovering and reviewing their memories helps older
adults find meaning and purpose in their lives.
- Reminiscence improves quality of life and
well-being and raises self-esteem.
- The past is a well of strength for older adults.
Drawing on it creates a feeling of security and competence.
- Reminiscence helps resolve conflicts and fears and
helps older adults cope with grief and loss.
- In other times the elderly were custodians of
culture, heritage, customs and traditions. By relaying family history,
ethnic heritage and folklore, today's elderly fulfill a natural and
important role. Through this they experience a sense of continuity and
- For the listener, reminiscence has many rewards.
There is the satisfaction of being able to help someone; the warmth in
getting close to them, enjoying their stories and even learning from their
wisdom and experiences. Through this the listener can see her own part in
Who Can Benefit from Reminiscence?
The vast majority of older adults will benefit from
reminiscence. It's a resource accessible to the broadest spectrum of
individuals from the well elderly to those with physical, emotional and
cognitive handicaps. Reminiscence is especially beneficial to persons
suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Who Can Use Reminiscence?
Anyone who has regular or repeated contact with the
elderly can use reminiscence-family, friends, visitors, social workers,
activity directors, occupational therapists, nurses, doctors, clergy and
volunteers. Reminiscence can be used in the home, hospital, social centre,
church, day care and rest home-where ever older adults spend time.
What Is My Role In Reminiscence?
The listener's role in reminiscence is two-fold:
- Encourage the older adult to share memories.
- Pay active and genuine attention to the reminiscer
as memories unfold.