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Special Topics

Reminiscence Therapy

Quality of Life Communication Facilitation For the Elderly

What is Reminiscence Therapy?

Reminiscence Therapy is a communication facilitation technique which provides patients with the opportunity to connect and communicate with loved ones and family members when communication skills are significantly compromised by neurological conditions and non-specific decline in the aged. The purpose is to provide patients and their loved ones with opportunities to have conversations and share messages in ways that they might not consider possible.

Who would benefit from Reminiscence Therapy?

Patients with conditions such as aphasia, dysarthria, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, some types of Dementia, Cancer and Traumatic Brain Injury, to name a few. It is meant for end stage communication. It is intended for the patient for whom no or little functional gain in communication is expected. An ideal candidate must have some functional residual hearing and some comprehension of language, and awareness of family and friends.

How does Reminiscence Therapy work?

The patient’s spouse, friend or loved one attends therapy with the patient and through careful interviewing technique provides the Speech-Language Pathologist with biographical, cultural, and historical information about the patient. Using speech, pictures, drawings, gestures, photo albums, lists of family members names etc, the clinician along with the family member embark on a journey of shared connectedness and meaningful relationality.

What are the benefits of Reminiscence Therapy?

Patients and their family members who have engaged in Reminiscence Therapy report feelings of closeness, opportunity to have final conversations, opportunities to laugh and joke, when everything around them may be difficult, painful, negative and at times seemingly humourless. Client families report a positive effect on their families.
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