Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nursing Home Reminiscence Groups: Video

For some, they were the good old days. For others, they were just the old days. Either way, they are who we are today, and we can’t seem to get rid of them completely. Everywhere we go, we push them around in mental shopping carts. Sometimes we think we’ve lost a few items permanently. Then they turn up when we least expect them. They are our memories. Lately, they are becoming topics for group sharing in facilities where seniors congregate.

Reminiscence groups, which are a form of therapy, are sessions with seniors sharing memories. They aren’t quite the same as lounge-talking get-togethers, however, because conversations are guided by a trained facilitator such as a social worker. This person presents topics and helpful comments when they are needed.

The purpose of reminiscence group sessions is to trigger brain responses through nostalgia and socializing. This is similar to the way bingo and socializing might give the mind a workout. Reminiscence also helps seniors analyze their lives by reviewing where they were, where they are, and how they want to respond to those reflections. Hospice patients often benefit from life-review forms of closure.

In our pressured world of multitasking and fast living, how fulfilling it sounds to meet with a group and talk to them about our memories. How supportive it must feel to open our hearts while listening to theirs.

If you’d like to sit back and enjoy a visual-musical portrait of one nursing home resident’s life, I invite you to reminisce, along with this video (3:48 mins.) titled “Look at Me.”

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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