These Nostalgia Inducing Techniques Will Help To Empower People with Dementia
Reminiscence is a powerful way to enhance and improve the wellbeing of people living with Dementia. Objects that spark that part of our brain to recall a happy memory can stimulate the nostalgia process. This nostalgia can give us a look into a person’s past history to find out more about their interests and reconnect with a lost part of their life story.
Activities & Games
Sharing stories of our early childhood experiences is an enjoyable way to cherish our past history. Reminiscing about early experiences can sometimes be the only way for someone with Dementia to define who they are. Childhood games are a good way to revive distant memories. First, find out which games or activities they enjoyed in the past and work with the ones they would recognise best. Old games such as Jacks, Jenga or games such as ‘ball in a cup’ are great examples of how to engage and reminisce with a loved one. However, for someone in the earlier stages of Dementia physical that get them up and walking, such as kite flying or a game of bowls may also prove to be a worthwhile activity.
Another method to help someone with Dementia rekindle old memories is by listening to music or singing. Such activities can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their age or condition. For someone in the later stages of Dementia, you may come to realise that music is the only way for them to express their emotions. Create them a Playlist for Life on Storii to play to them when they are upset or confused. ‘Name that Tune‘ is a fun musical game to play which can be enjoyed by all to help bring back memories by association.
Talking about past events is very important as these experiences may be the only remaining memories for someone with Dementia. Therefore, these memories must be treasured and preserved as and when possible (find out how to preserve your memories with Storii). To help inspire someone to speak about previous memories – you can show them a popular sporting moment from the past that they attended or take them to their favourite museum. It’s always satisfying to do something that both you and your loved one can enjoy as it will be fun reminiscing and reliving old memories; whilst creating new ones at the same time.
Whilst living with Dementia, day-to-day memories may be easily forgotten. However, looking at old photos will often trigger long term memories and the person will often show great delight in having the ability to share these memories and chat about older times. It’s important to trigger older memories, but creating new memories can be just as important.
TV & Radio
Television and radio have also been known to trigger beloved memories of someone living with Dementia. The BBC have created The ReMArc project which was set up to help tap into memorable moments using a collective BBC archive of early TV and radio material. Their website is an effective way to rekindle old memories – you can simply find old content by searching by decade and/or theme. It is a great resource for reminiscence therapy at home, or in a care home environment.