Reminiscence Therapy

Reminiscence Therapy Project

Organisation    RehabCare
Target Group    Intellectual Disability and Aging Population  
Description  Reminiscence Therapy (RT) 'involves the discussion of past activities, events and experiences with another person or group of people” (Woods, Spector, Jones, Orrell & Davies, 2005; p1).
Research into the use of RT with people with an Intellectual Disability is very limited compared to its use in the general aging population (Stueber & Hassiotis, 2012).
With an increased aging population of people with intellectual disability within our services we did an action piece of research on reminiscence therapy and the wider impact on staff who delivered this project.

Over all Benefits of RT:
  • Improvements in psychological wellbeing.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Reduced symptoms of depression.
  • Relationships between staff and people we support can improve as they have a greater depth and understanding life history. 
  • Validation and collaboration.
Barriers of RT:
  • People can focus on the negative aspects of life and get upset.
  • Staff need the correct set of skills and values for meaningful RT. 
  • The environment should be quiet, non-distracting and comfortable. 
  • Some people might not want to do Reminiscence Therapy due to illness or mood at that time. 
Wider impact on support:
  • RT using The Memory Box (attachment) is now a offered as a project in the service 
  • Staff is finding that it is helping to build a deeper relationship between them and people who attend the service. 
  • People we support say they are feeling more listened to. 
  • It’s creating a greater link with their identity and allowing staff to understand the life they have lived. 
  • Staff who were already trained in person cantered planning had a good baseline of skills and values. 
  • Short workshops with the team, in the use of The Memory Box and in gaining a better understanding of the aging process -through covering the social theories of aging. 
Contact /more information  Community Service Manager - Anne McFarland: