reminiscing with seniorsWe all love to talk about “the good old days” and so do our senior loved ones. Of course, we can also argue about whose good old days were better.

To reminisce is a great way for all seniors, recalling memories from a distant past; especially those affected by Dementia.

You can reminisce in an informal way through storytelling, questions and answers or triggering the story by starting it yourself and letting your senior loved one finish it in whatever way he or she remembers it.

You can also reminisce in a more formal way through capturing via video or writing or by having a professional capture the moments. Your senior’s memories should come naturally and flow from them without forcing.

Whether you reminisce in a very casual way or in a more formal way to retain the memories for the future, the effects can be very beneficial for your senior. Often times, elders feel isolated from their identity as they age. Being able to relive and relate their life stories can give them a sense of purpose and self-worth. It can help them relieve boredom and also gain a feeling of companionship with the person that is interested enough in them to listen to their life stories.

Seniors with Dementia, who have impaired short term memory, may not be able to remember what they ate for lunch but can usually remember and fully recall their lifetime memories.  Sharing between family caregivers and seniors may allow a renewed understanding as well as a new bond to form, hopefully replacing some of the frustration caring for a loved one with Dementia can bring.

Here are some fun facts that could get you and a senior to reminisce this Thanksgiving season. Use these at your own risk – they just might turn into some long stories!

Cost of Living In 1950 Compared to Now
Cost of things:

  • Gallon of milk cost 82 cents
  • Load of bread cost 14 cents
  • A dozen eggs cost 65 cents
  • Postage stamp cost 3 cents
  • Gallon of gas cost 20 cents
  • New car averaged $1,750

Favorite TV shows:

  • Hopalong Cassidy
  • The Toast of the Town
  • Your Show of Shows
  • The Lone Ranger
  • You Bet Your Life

Best Movie of the Year:

  • All About Eve

President and Vice President:

  • Harry S. Truman
  • Alben Barkley

Seniors enjoyed telling a story and love having an audience doing it. We hope these fun facts will get you started in having a great time reminiscing! You may not believe the stories you will hear. You might even get a good chuckle!

Happy Reminiscing…. Happy Thanksgiving!

Excerpts from: “Benefits of Reminiscing with Seniors…” by Kathy Birkett