Consider using reminiscence therapy with people who have Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia. Many long-term memories are still intact. 

In a recent discussion at the Mayo Clinic, the impact of reminiscence on mood was discussed, and initial observations are that reminiscence has the power to improve mood and touch people's emotions in a very positive way. 

Reminiscence is an area where people with memory loss (Alzheimer's Disease or vascular dementia) may have success in recalling their oldest memories without too much difficulty. It is common for people to feel a sense of validation and enjoy remembering things that they CAN remember effectively. It is key to be deeply listening to a person as they recall what matters most. There is a sense of peace and joy that I've seen when older adults have the ability to go to a place like their childhood home or the family farm -- in their mind -- to share a few sweet memories from those days.  In many cases, they are reminded of the love of parents and grandparents which also contributes to improved wellbeing.  

Using old photos or reading back stories that have been recorded already (please write things down or feel free to use to create even a short biography of the person) can stimulate the hippocampus area of the brain while allowing family and friends to have a GREAT connection point for conversations that matter.  

Frankly, one of the biggest issues is moving away from talking about the weather, health, sports, and discussions that matter so much more.  Who their childhood friends were and the games they played....a long ago vacation...a first job....a favorite car...a wonderful time they had with their own grandmother or grandfather many years ago.

The power of memories should not be discounted or ignored -- especially by those in long-term care settings (skilled nursing), memory care providers, or neurologists serving a geriatric population. Here are two excellent ways to connect with people and their families when there is concern about memory loss...

1) Create an "About Me" online using  This private secure web-based account has a simple template inside that will generate a beautiful biography for the person.  This biography can be referenced for months or years to come by the person with dementia, the staff or caregivers around them, and their own family. (Licensed LifeBio Authorized Organizations also receive "About Me" booklets in hardcopy form to provide to seniors and their families to gather the life story in more depth without difficulty or delay).   

2) In the earliest phases, use the Memory Journal to give you a deep understanding of the person's life story. Record without delay.

3) Make MemoryBio available for professional caregivers and family caregivers to use. There are over 200 photos inside MemoryBio on 35 common themes of life.  This is a "universal" photo album and it makes it so simple to visit when you have something to talk about.  It could be the picture of the airplane (and the questions that go along with it that are provided), canned green beans, a man driving a tractor, a family at a birthday party, or a picture of marching band members that really CONNECTS with the person that day.  Because it is sometimes so difficult even for family members to visit, providing MemoryBio as a resource can make all the difference in how well that visit goes. Contact LifeBio below for info and pricing on MemoryBio for your organization or family.

4) Get in touch.  For more information on using reminiscence therapy, please contact LifeBio at 937-303-4576 or email  You can also learn more about LifeBio's work in senior care and health care settings by visiting  LifeBio works with the Mayo Clinic and hundreds of providers nationwide.