Reminiscence Sessions Improve Cognition, Mood

August 2, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Structured, individualized reminiscence sessions improved cognition and depressive symptoms in older adults with mild or moderate dementia in only four weeks, found a European study in the July 2013 Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. The study was undertaken because despite the popularity of reminiscence activities, little robust evidence has examined their impact. Eighty-two older adults with mild to moderate dementia related to probable Alzheimer’s disease were recruited from three long-term care facilities, two day care centers, and one psychiatric inpatient care facility. Half were randomly selected to participate in six to eight 45-minute reminiscence sessions over four weeks. Introduction interviews helped the facilitator understand the participant’s characteristics, life events, and experiences. During structured one-on-one sessions, the facilitator interviewed the participant, paying attention to their family, home, community, and life roles. Each week, one of four themes was explored: family, profession, holidays and vacations, and games.

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