REMINISCENCE: EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
We specialize in reminiscence as an avenue to promote
communication and social engagement.
From The Literature:
“As communication deteriorates for clients with Alzheimer’s dementia, we can step in with conversational and memory supports that maximize their functioning.”
Through reminiscence therapy (RT), patients discuss past activities and experiences with another person or group of people, usually aided by tangible stimuli like familiar objects and photographs and (written cues.)
Written and graphic cues can take many forms, including memory wallets (and their larger counterparts, memory books), which University of South Florida SLP and dementia researcher Michelle Bourgeois pioneered for use with people with dementia in the early 1990s.
Memory aids can be tailored to each person’s needs and interests and can be modified as their cognition and language abilities decline.
What are they? Essentially, they’re a collection of sentence and picture stimuli designed to prompt recall of important people, places, and events in the life of the person with memory impairment. They can help provide a focus for meaningful, on-topic conversations, which are a key activity of daily life.”
"Facilitated reminiscence answers the need for an intervention that is “...simultaneously engaging, relevant, cost-effective, culturally sensitive, and, above all, functional” (Harris, 1998). Then, as now, the search was on for creative therapeutic approaches to appeal to an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse aging population. The mismatch in age, life experiences, and culture between majority-culture clinicians and older adults from nonmainstream populations, remains constant (ASHA, 2010), as does the need for engaging, culturally appropriate, and fiscally conservative programming options.
Personally relevant, ecologically valid interventions are more engaging to clients. This level of engagement may be particularly important to older adults from culturally diverse backgrounds, who may not understand the purpose of clinical procedures, many of which lack relevance to their experiences and interests. Although not a panacea, facilitated reminiscence is suitable for many of these clients.
As a language intervention facilitated reminiscence is a social interactive activity designed to encourage the recall and discussion of pleasurable past experiences. Facilitated reminiscence strategies can be used with individual clients. However, the approach is especially well suited for group treatment because it encourages communicative interactions.
Facilitated reminiscence acknowledges, affirms, and values older adults’ life experiences as topics of conversation—a boon to their self-esteem and well-being—even for older adults with restricted cognitive-communicative abilities." (Harris, 2012)
The ABOUT BOOKS and MOVIES AND MUSIC utilize these principles of engagement. Success is demonstrated in clinical practice.
Hooper, T (2016, June) Not Cured …But Improved. ASHA Leader, 21 (6) 44-51
Harris, J.L. (2012, October) Speaking Up About Memories. ASHA Leader, 17 (13) 1-13