Reminiscence Therapy Has the Potential to Improve Cognitive Impairment and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults with Dementia

Many older adults with dementia suffer from cognitive impairments and experience depressive symptoms.  These symptoms have the potential to reduce physical activities and mental wellbeing, impair social or occupational abilities, and debilitate health-related quality of life.  Moreover, research has shown that depressive symptoms are significantly related to aggravated psychological functions in older adults with dementia.  Thus, creating effective strategies to enhance their cognitive abilities and mitigate depressive symptoms are necessary.  Reminiscence therapy, which calls for vocal or silent recall of past experiences, activities, and events in a person’s life by utilizing tangible prompts, has shown to be an effective intervention in the enhancement of psychological abilities and reduction of depressive symptoms in older adults with dementia.

A recent study published in The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine confirmed the effectiveness of reminiscence therapy for older adults with dementia. The study suggests that reminiscence therapy should be considered for inclusion as regular care for the enhancement of cognitive functions and depressive symptoms in older adults with dementia, particularly in long-term care residents with dementia,  such as those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.