Sue Sunderland, Executive Director at the soon-to-open senior living community, The Bridges at Warwick in Jamison, Pa., says, “Here, we believe very strongly in the power of positive relationships for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. As a result, we offer countless ways for our residents to connect with one another, their families and our team members.
“Our innovative view promotes individualized care that’s based on the person’s own history and experiences. For example, our programming is customized to the life events that are most pleasant, relevant and meaningful to those in our care. Sensory stimulation exercises and time for family reminiscing is an important aspect of this approach.
“Today, experts in the field of Memory Care, such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the Mayo Clinic, recognize reminiscence and several other forms of holistic therapy as credible forms of treatment for loved ones living with memory loss. Various studies have demonstrated that social engagement activities that use reminiscing, music, art, and pets and pleasant aromas to recall the happy times in life can be highly beneficial.
“It has been proven that spending time reminiscing about the people, events and places from ‘back in the day’ helps loved ones to reconnect socially while also increasing their physical and emotional well-being.”
How Reminiscence Therapy Works
Experts explain that Reminiscence Therapy involves reaching the memories that reside in the still viable regions of the brain. Interestingly, the areas of the brain that store our long-term memories are typically unaffected until the latter stages of the disease’s progression. Thus, loved ones will usually remember much more about their younger years than they will about what they did yesterday.
7 Valuable Benefits of Reminiscing with Your Loved One
Various professional journals and scientific research studies have concluded that Reminiscence Therapy is an effective way to improve the overall mood of loved ones with memory loss and to increase their ability to participate in normal activities of daily living.
The article, “The Benefits of Reminiscence Therapy for Seniors” lists the numerous benefits of reminiscence therapy. These include:
- The increased ability to communicate. Research has shown new pathways in the brain form as a loved one remembers the past.
- Reestablishing life's meaning for a person through connection to the past and reasserting their feeling of importance.
- Alleviating symptoms of depression and agitation.
- Increased self-worth and sense of belonging in the world.
- Providing relief from boredom and offering a distraction from day-to-day problems.
- Reducing apathy and general lack of interest in the world around them.
- Caregivers can also benefit by making eye contact and engaging with your loved one when other types of communication are difficult.
Create a “Memory Box” to Relive the Happiest Times
Reminiscence Therapy utilizes all of the five human senses – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell – to stimulate positive responses and engagement in loved ones. Using this knowledge, we recommend that at-home caregivers create “memory boxes” for their loved ones that are filled with a variety of relevant items and memorabilia that represent their most pleasant days gone by.
Whether it’s an old marriage photo, pictures of their children when they were young, a video of a favorite classic movie or a cherished record album, organizing a memory box filled with favorite reminders can help them to reconnect with life and raise their spirits. Sharing these items with your loved one on a routine basis can help them to relive the happiest times in their life and also create opportunities for meaningful conversations.
A Personalized Approach for Your Loved One … and You
AddsMs. Sunderland, “Personalized reminiscence therapy is just one of several proven holistic therapies we provide to loved ones at The Bridges at Warwick. Each of them is designed to improve your loved one’s well-being and provide them with a life filled with purpose, meaning and fulfillment.
“We also recognize that memory loss affects the entire family. You and other family members are encouraged to participate in our care planning to assure that your loved receives the most personalized and comfortable care possible.
“Additionally, we offer educational programs for families and friends so that they can anticipate the challenges and changes associated with the disease. By better understanding the disease process, we believe you will be in the best position to provide the appropriate support.”
We welcome you to check out our monthly calendar of free programs and events to learn more aboutmemory loss and “best practice” care. We hope you will take this opportunity join us!
Activity. Friendship. Support. Convenience. Value.
Opening in early 2016, you’ll find it all at The Bridges at Warwick, located in beautiful Bucks County, where every day is a celebration of seniors’ lives. Our philosophy of “Celebrating Life” means that our residents enjoy a sense of purpose and contentment along with fun, personalized care and a focus on total well-being.
Our Personalized Supportive Care provides just the right amount of assistance to help you remain independent along with life-enriching programs, services and amenities. Our exclusive Vista Transitional Living Program is for our Supportive Care residents who have memory challenges but do not yet require a secure residence. For those whose memory loss is more advanced, we offer The Vista, our specialized, comprehensive Memory Care residence.
In keeping with our founder Robert Basile’s personal philosophy, developed during his efforts to find quality senior living for his beloved father, senior adults remain our passion. We fill our residents’ lives with countless opportunities to engage with both new and treasured friends; events and programs to enjoy with family members and loved ones; as well as innovative and creative activities that foster engagement. Our dedication to total wellness – for mind, body and spirit – is woven into our culture every day.
Contact us today or call 215.269.7745 for more information or to arrange a personal tour. Be sure to ask about our JUBILEE CLUB – The Rewards Are Many. The Savings Are Big.