Reminiscence therapy taps into all of the senses to help adults with dementia recall memories. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, and it’s usually the most recent memories that vanish first. With reminiscence therapy, it can help your mom or dad hold onto memories that meant the most. Having the assistance of homecare you can achieve your goals.
Why does it matter? You may find as your parent’s memory declines that it leads to tremendous frustration. That frustration can lead to moments of extreme sadness or anger. If your parent is angry that the memories are vanishing, physical and verbal abuse become behavioral issues. Every time your parent lashes out, you’ll feel hurt.
How Does Reminiscence Therapy Work?
Reminiscence therapy is meant to help you and your parents connect using their strongest memories. One way to do this is by pulling out old photo albums. Go through the photos and see what your parent remembers.
Keep a mental note of photos that evoke the most emotion. That helps cue you into the decade or year that your parent remembers the best. It may not be your mom or dad’s childhood. They may remember their early-20s best. Use whatever time frame it is to your advantage.
Once you’ve found the memories that are the easiest to recall, look for things from that era that your parent may remember. If your dad’s strongest memories are of his teen years, look up the music, foods, and games from that time.
Your dad remembers the Beatles best. Play that music for him and see what happens. If he sings along or wants to dance, you’ve tapped into his memories and will create fun memories with him. You keep researching and find candies that were popular in that era. Buy those candies and see if he remembers eating them.
Other Ways to Tap Into the Emotions
Your mom loved to draw. Stop by with some drawing pads, colored pencils, or oil pastels and start drawing. If the hobby or activity is something she remembers, she’ll join in.
Your mom used to love to bake and was known for her creativity. Make a batch of sugar cookies or cupcakes and some frosting in different colors. Hand her the items she needs and let her decorate them. She may go ahead and eat it instead. That’s fine.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Own Self-Care Needs and Seek Homecare Help
Make sure you’re taking time off when needed. You may want to be with your dad every moment of the day, but it will become tiring emotionally and physically. Alzheimer’s isn’t an easy disease to witness, and self-care is important.
Arrange to have a homecare agency send caregivers regularly. The caregiver stays with your dad while you take time to focus on yourself. Go for a walk, meet up with friends, or catch up on sleep. Whatever appeals to you, make sure you use respite care services from a homecare agency for self-care.