Activity Professionals Online:
Sharing memories from the past can be a great way to get to know a new resident, a way to stimulate a withdrawn resident, and even a way to encourage resident interaction.
One of my favorite reminiscing activities is also the easiest: I simply play a CD of wedding music shortly before meal time, then wander from table to table and listen to the improptu conversations that take place among residents, visitors, and staff. Even residents with dementia seem to recognize the "Wedding March", and will smile or clap their hands. I find that this simple little activity has worked many times with the same residents- I just wait a few months in between each time I play the CD.
Another great reminiscing tool is making a book of memory pages about various topics. You can buy the books- typically called "Grandma Remembers" or something similar; or, you can make your own. I make my own, and have volunteers work on the pages with residents as a room visit. This serves as a great icebreaker, and residents seems to respond more readily to a new visitor with a "purpose". Some of the pages I've done have included: school days, children, parents, weddings, houses, childhood favorites, favorite TV shows, and more. Families really appreciate having these books later as gifts.
This page was last updated on: July 21, 2003