WELLBEING

Active Minds for reminiscence therapy

A day of reminiscence therapy training again. This time with Active Minds, a provider of reminiscence packs for care homes. It’s really great to see that the idea of reminiscence is now supported by dedicated providers and organisations can order ready-made packs. (This is not an advert, by the way, they are quite expensive and only worth the money if you plan to use them often!). What I personally took out of this training for my own studies was the importance of tailoring reminiscence therapy towards particular age group but at the same time keeping the clues generic enough for everyone to join in. On one hand, I have seen the materials from people’s childhood working really well (sweets are probably the best clue!). On the other hand for people with dementia sometimes very general images and items are less demanding and more meaningful – a simple photo of a cat or a flower can bring up wonderful stories too. Both approaches will work, just differently. The tailored approach will make people feel safe, connected to mutual experiences (old brands of sweets for example). The general approach will open up discussion and build connections between people who might not have the same background and context. Both work really well, even combined!

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