Guided Reminiscence sessions are one of the five activity sessions offered to care homes by Alive! Designed to help older residents relive their most important memories, these sessions have been hugely successful among individuals with dementia and other cognitive impairments, helping them to look back over their past experiences and achievements and improving their self-esteem.
The sessions are conducted among groups of residents using iPads which, when connected to the internet, provide an unlimited resource for reminiscence materials. Presenters use websites such as Google Earth and Google Street View to find images of where the residents grew up or got married, Wikipedia to pursue their interests and YouTube to search for and play films and music that residents recognise from their youth.
Alive! are enormously grateful to the Nominet Trust for the funding to run more of these sessions in care homes across Bristol and the surrounding areas. “Many care home residents become locked in their own personal world, rarely relating to or speaking with others,” explained Tim Lloyd-Yeates. “Our workshops really lift people’s moods and give them energy. Through our sessions, people can also reconnect with their most important memories. For example, a resident recently asked to see King George IV inspecting the blitz-damaged roads of London’s East End. We were able to find a clip on the Internet in just a few seconds. It was only a minute or so long, but he was clearly moved by the experience and said it meant a great deal to him.”