Remembering is a mental behavior that enables people to familiarize themselves with their experiences. Normally, one has the natural ability to remember and recall events that occurred in the past naturally. However, as one gets older, there is a fair chance that one may not remember some if not most of his/her memories. Remembering and recall are known to bring back memories of excitement, regret, or sadness in one’s life. Nevertheless, health practitioners encourage people especially the old to try remembering because the process is important in retaining one’s sense of self. Apart from the benefits, there are occasional consequences as discussed in this paper (Learning Guide 5).
Reminiscence is now a standard procedure in many care homes (Gibson, 2011). The program is beneficial to people with dementia because it improves their sense of self and wellbeing. Today, psychogeriatricians employ reminiscence as a therapeutic tool for the old to help them reflect on their past and understand it. Moreover, the tool is not only beneficial to the old but also the doctors and nurses providing care. On the other hand, research has shown that there are events in people’s memories for which reminiscence should not be encouraged. For example, war memories have been shown to make matters worse for survivors instead of bringing back memories of comradeship.
Psychologists and other health practitioners propose that such traumatic memories can be shared in group meetings among veterans to help reduce their mental breakdown (Coleman, 2005). However, psychologists often find it difficult to convince war veterans to engage themselves in these group activities. This is because those who survived the war, as well as other distressing events such as the Holocaust, find it difficult to talk about their experiences. Furthermore, even the care workers may not be able to contain the accounts they hear.
Coleman, P. G. (2005). Uses of reminiscence: Functions and benefits.
Gibson, F. (2011). Reminiscence and life story work: A practice guide. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
K101 An introduction to health and social care, Block 2, Learning Guide 5 Section 3
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