Reminiscence therapy

Reminiscence therapy is a form of therapy that can be used to support elderly patients.

This form of treatment engages the use of senses—sight, smell, taste, touch, sound—to help people
with dementia recall memories and past events. Photographs and music can act as catalysts that help
access pockets of intact long-term memories.

Reminiscence therapy centers are designed to recreate former memories. A reminiscence therapy
center in California was designed using items, activities and events that occurred in the 1950s. Activities
and social events, including shopping and going to the library are all recreated from this time period.
Elderly patients are encouraged to visit scenes from their childhood and to socialize within this context.

Research shows that the familiarity of these activities may be comforting for elderly people with
Alzheimer’s, who may feel disoriented. Reminiscence therapy can be a helpful tool for improving the
quality of life for people with memory loss.