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Research Roundup on Reminiscence and Life Review

For thousands of years, people from diverse cultures around the world have passed on their traditions, beliefs, and advice through the telling of stories. When writing a life story, writing an autobiography, or sharing some key memories with family or friends, stories…

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Emotional Wellness- Part 2 of 2

(This is a continuation from LifeBio’s blog on Emotional Wellness from Tuesday, June 30th.)

 

Storytelling and Emotional Wellness

Being a storyteller allows us to have control of the story we share. When we are allowed to construct a story, we get to determine the important parts. We can choose what to include, and we can filter out things that we deem smaller or less significant. We can find the deeper meaning in it all. We get to determine the significant characters, the important events, the turning points that we tell, and how things shape us. While living through events, we can interpret them through storytelling. We can decide if and what we want to share from our story with others on our journey. Jonathan Adler, PhD and professor of psychology, says, “You may not have control over all your circumstances, but you can choose how to tell the story.”

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Learning about Reminiscence Therapy (and How You Might Use It)

What is Reminiscence therapy?

 

Reminiscence Therapy (RT) is a treatment that uses all the senses to help individuals remember things from their past. It incorporates sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound to encourage remembering events, people, and places from days gone by. Objects may also be used to help with recall.

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What if your story is my medicine and my story is yours?

What if your story is my medicine and my story is yours?  Story is medicine. It touches the soul. Story is a powerful tool to bring people together. When I hear your story, I walk in your shoes and experience feelings of caring and empathy. When you walk in my shoes, I can unburden myself from the problems of the day or relay my hopes, my feelings, or my emotions. Together, we may make each other laugh or cry. Another human being is a challenge to listen to and to understand. Every person has a story to tell, and every person benefits from both listening and being listened to.

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What is Reminiscence Therapy?

LifeBio uses Reminiscence Therapy (or “RT”) to connect, engage, and enrich lives.  Reminiscence Therapy is appropriate for people of all ages and levels of cognitive function when tailored to their specific needs.  Reminiscence Therapy is most commonly used with seniors and is “the discussion of past activities, events and experiences with another person or group of people, usually with the aid of tangible prompts such as photographs, household and other familiar items from the past, music and archive sound recordings”. [1]  RT uses prompts to find common ground and make connections between individuals who may or may not have cognitive deficits.

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"We Need to Talk" - All About Reminiscence Therapy

For thousands of years, people have shared stories around the campfire, the hearth, and the kitchen table.  We human beings are practically pre-programmed to enjoy telling and sharing our stories.   Taken in its simplest form, Reminiscence Therapy (or RT) is recalling and discussing the people, places, and events that shaped us.  More than merely retelling the same old story, however, Reminiscence Therapy delves deeper and is used as a therapeutic tool that improves mood, reduces the use of pharmacological interventions, and improves quality of life.  Plus, it’s fun!

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Reminiscence Therapy in Action in Senior Living and Nursing Homes

Take Advantage of LifeBio in All Areas of Campus
Reminiscence Therapy increases happiness and satisfaction with life, as evidence from LifeBio's study with Iowa State University proved. LifeBio also increases feelings of purpose and meaning. Interestingly, a recent Harvard study found that increased purpose reduces hospitalizations. Lessening loneliness also has major health benefits.

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Music Therapy and LifeBio Reminiscence Therapy - A Lovely Pairing!

Board Certified Music Therapist Natalie Spencer uses the LifeBio Story Journal in sessions with her students to connect on a deeper level.
Today’s story comes to us courtesy of Board Certified Music Therapist Natalie Spencer of Moorings Park.  Natalie found that she was having challenges coming up with ideas to stimulate meaningful conversation with some of her participants during their sessions.  She mentioned this to the Director of Wellness, Celeste Lynch, who suggested that Natalie consider using the LifeBio Reminiscence Therapy program with her Music Therapy sessions. 

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Storytelling for Health and Wellbeing

Storytelling is powerful and it is natural. Why should it be encouraged?  Because it is also good for people's health and sense of wellbeing.  

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Reminiscence Therapy: Effective for a Number of Reasons

I remember visiting Judy's back porch in her memories. She pointed to her father who was sitting to her left and her brother who was drinking lemonade at the table. In the distance, she smelled and saw the pink rhododendron bushes and she felt the breeze in the air.  Her mother was preparing food in the kitchen and a picnic on the porch was about to begin. It was like we were there, and, for Judy, we were there. We were visiting this sweet memory together. I also could feel that Judy didn’t really want to come back right away.  That was okay. She was truly enjoying the moment....and so was I as the listener.

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