This report seeks to evaluate the benefits that reminiscence therapy has for individuals with dementia. Reminiscence therapy has been expounded as an approach that entails the discussion of an individual's past utilizing personal memorabilia and pictures. Most interventions for dementia have been focused on pharmaceutical means. However, there has been increased emphasis on harnessing the benefits of reminiscence therapy. Some of these benefits are described in self, social and skill perspectives. Research on this area has been on determining the effects of reminiscence approach on cognition, identity, and communication in social settings. Overall, the current review underscores the benefits of reminiscence approach in improving the independence of people with dementia and promoting their relationships with others. Despite the inherent benefit of this approach, more research is needed on the response of people with dementia of various aspects of reminiscence therapy. Also, outcome variables such as mood, cognition, and autobiographical memory and their measurements need to be examined.
Table of Contents
The Guidelines for Reminiscence Therapy 4
Reminiscence Therapy and People Living with Dementia 4
Benefits of Reminiscing Therapy for People with Dementia 6
Conclusion and Recommendations 7
This report seeks to evaluate the importance of reminiscence therapy for individuals living with dementia. It is an approach a psychological intervention employed in the treatment of people with dementia which entails maintaining the contact with the past and perpetuates the individual's identity (Mohamed, 2017). It utilizes stimulation, communication, entertainment, and socialization. Reminiscence therapy cannot be understated due to benefits in the treatment of dementia which has been evidenced as a progressive neurological condition that slowly compromises the normal functioning of a person. Additionally, dementia has been reported as a significant public health issue since it impedes on the cognition, functional abilities and language of a person (Westphal et al., 2017). This report will discuss reminiscence therapy and people with dementia. It will then examine the benefits of reminiscence approach for individuals living with dementia.
The Guidelines for Reminiscence Therapy
When using reminiscence therapy, the following guidelines are appropriate:
In the use of a person-centered approach, the caregivers need to promote sensitivity, awareness, and flexibility among others.
Emphasis should be on promotion of positive interaction focusing on high-quality interactions.
Everyone should be accorded an opportunity to speak.
Take note of the remaining capabilities of the individual with dementia and considering their strengths, in addition to past and present difficulties and interests (Latha et al., 2014).
Reminiscence Therapy and People Living with Dementia
Reminiscence approach is considered one of the treatments employed in enhancing the well-being of people with dementia. McFadden & Gillespie (2014) explains that reminiscence therapy has been evidenced as an intervention that is beneficial to patients, families and healthcare practitioners. The authors, however, mention that there is a need for more research in this area since it has not been standardized and therefore not available to people who could benefit. A review conducted by Parker (2006), shows that a large group, generalized group therapy has a restricted role for people living with dementia. The fundamental benefit originates from a well-planned, well-structured reminiscence therapy. Individual structured reminiscence therapy may lack benefits present in group therapy. However, there is a focus on the effective communication and interaction between the patient and the caregiver. Also, possible distractions from present in group therapy are not encountered in individually focused therapy. It is however expounded that irrespective of whether therapy is individually focused or in groups, a creative approach is necessary since it allows clients to participate and recognize the limitations that might arise from an individual realizing their cognitive impairment (Parker, 2006).
A quasi-experiment conducted by Gonzalez et al., (2015), studied the impacts of therapy on patients with dementia. The study sought to evaluate the essence of reminiscence approach on people living with dementia. It was established that reminiscence therapy enhances self-acceptance, autonomy, and positive interactions with others. The authors' states that "the study supports the effectiveness of reminiscence therapy as an intervention in people with dementia, especially in reducing depressive symptoms and improving psychological well-being." Reminiscence therapy has important in various ways such as upholding self-esteem, feeling of belong, identity and possibilities for the future (Woods et al., 2018). An individual with dementia can ground their present relationships and maintain caring relationships which can be accomplished through reminiscence work.
Benefits of Reminiscing Therapy for People with Dementia
Reminiscence therapy has been evidence to benefit a person with dementia is three aspects namely self, social, and skills. Social entails the basic social perspective of reminiscing therapy in which the client shares memories and stories from their past offer emphasis on their past. Reminiscing therapy in group settings offers an environment appropriate for sharing past experiences. This type of therapy stimulates social and emotional aspects and helps individuals associate their feelings and emotions with recollections endorsed in the group (Astell et al., 2010). Astell et al., (2010) explains that reminiscing therapy promotes skills since it offers a person with dementia the opportunity to utilize various social and cognitive abilities. They entail long-term memory, conversational abilities, and attention and concentration among others. Through the focus on retained skills instead of present deficits, this type of therapy helps individuals with dementia to get involved in social relations.
Reminiscence therapy improves self which entails presentation and examination of self that happens when individuals are in social scenarios. In social settings, those with dementia have problems and especially when cannot remembers answers to the questioned posed, and this potentially leads to isolation and withdrawal. Reminiscing therapy offers individuals with dementia to be involved in the conversation on equal terms. Astell et al., (2010) states that "... which has a positive impact on their identity and facilitates adaptation on the changes they are experiencing as a consequence of their dementia." Reminiscence therapy has been rated highly by caregivers and participants. It has been evidenced to effect on the mood, cognition, and well-being for individuals with dementia. The utilization of reminiscence approach for individuals with dementia can be evidenced to enhance behavior, social interaction, motivation and well-being.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This report has established reminiscing therapy is beneficial to people with dementia. Associated benefits from reminiscing about therapy can be described into three aspects. These include the improvement of self, skills, and social. Reminiscence approach in therapy helps in stimulating thoughts and memories of people with dementia and therefore develops a sense of continuity in their life. Ultimately, it can be described as a fulfilling experienced and nourish relationships between the patients, caregivers and even families. Using this approach helps people with dementia review connect their past to present by reviewing their lives and stories. It has been established that reminiscence therapy has benefits. This report has evaluated guidelines necessary in utilizing this approach and has discussed the benefits of reminiscence approach to people with dementia. Despite the apparent benefits of this approach to people with dementia, more research needs to be done on how people with dementia respond to a various aspect of therapy such when there is individual or group setting. It is also important to do more research on necessary outcome variables such as mood, cognition, and autobiographical memory among others and their measures.
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Astell, A., Ellis, M., Alm, N., Dye, R., & Gowans, G. (2010). Stimulating people with dementia to reminisce about using personal and generic photographs. International Journal of Computers in Healthcare, 1(2), 177. doi: 10.1504/ijcih.2010.037461
Gonzalez, J., Mayordomo, T., Torres, M., Sales, A., & Melendez, J. (2015). Reminiscence and dementia: a therapeutic intervention. International Psychogeriatrics, 27(10), 1731-1737. doi: 10.1017/s1041610215000344
Latha, K., Bhandary, P., Tejaswini, S., & Sahana, M. (2014). Reminiscence Therapy: An Overview. Middle East Journal of Age and Ageing, 11(1), 18-22. doi: 10.5742/meaa.2014.92393
McFadden, G., & Gillespie, M. (2014). Application of reminiscence therapy for dementia in practice. British Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 3(6), 272-276. doi: 10.12968/bjmh.2014.3.6.272
Mohamed, S. (2017). Reminiscence therapy with life story books for people with dementia: A systematic review. Retrieved from https://essay.utwente.nl/71681/1/SaladMohamed_BA_BMS.pdf
Parker, J. (2006). I remember that ...' Reminiscence groups with people with dementia: A valuable site for practice learning. Groupwork, 16(1), 44-65.
Westphal, A., & Calleja, D. (2017). Using Reminiscence with People with Dementia in Sub - Acute & Acute Care. Retrieved from https://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/2471312/Using-reminiscence-with-people-with-dementia-in-acute-and-subacute-care-manual.pdf
Woods, B., O'Philbin, L., Farrell, E., Spector, A., & Orrell, M. (2018). Reminiscence therapy for dementia. Retrieved from https://www.cochrane.org/CD001120/DEMENTIA_reminiscence-therapy-dementia
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