Dementia: Reminiscence Therapy

This is a form of Non-pharmacological therapy that aims to trigger past memories by keeping the brain stimulated and is called the Reminiscence therapy. With the help of various activities such as looking at photos, videos, dancing, singing, listening to music, working on a puzzle etc one can stimulate the brain. Dr.Robert Butler first discovered the Reminiscence therapy in 1960’s. In the past ‘’dwelling’’ was a sign of senility; however, research has proven that it is a very effective and natural curative method which is used by thousands.

How does it work for those living with dementia?

In order to carry out reminiscence therapy- locations, the photos or music must be relevant and personal to the person with dementia. Listening to their favorite song from 1960’s or looking at a photo of childhood stimulates the brain; this, in turn, reminds the person of their once associated thoughts and memories with that photo or song.

The people with dementia find it vital to keep their brain stimulated and active. In doing so, they will feel more encouraged communicating and interacting with others, either about the present or past moments which will be linked to their memories.

As they look back on their lives with positive thoughts, it boosts their self-esteem and provides them with a sense of fulfillment and comfort. Unfortunately, dementia can often be linked with depression; therefore using reminiscence therapy allows someone with dementia to enjoy a conversation about their past fond memories which have been activated.

MyPlayLife App for Reminiscence Therapy-

Co-developed with LWDP caring concepts and the NHS Innovation Agency, myPlayLife is a music and reminiscent app that can be used by elderly people with a ‘Lite’ mode for dementia (the main user/patient), contributors (family and friends of the main user) as well as carers. It aims at keeping memories alive and connecting families together. It assists people with dementia with both short-term and long-term memory loss. In order to trigger past memories and keeping hold of them, as well as new ones, it uses a technique called reminiscence therapy. Through the use of moods, connected user keywords and locations, memories can be filtered. Then the memories can be stored and added to the user’s personalized timeline which is accessible to all of the other connected users (contributors). This allows the user to remember and relive their most cherished memories using photos, videos and locations captured. This app also allows the contributors to add in their relationship status to the relatives and they can communicate between each other using notes or getting in touch with the carer swiftly, all through a dedicated private network.

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