Memories – an infinitely renewable resource
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
Reminiscence therapy goes back as far as I can remember. As a child of four my parents would seek to assuage my concerns about where I’d come from by showing me sepia photographs of themselves when they were young children, and of moustachioed men in uniform and stern-faced matriarchs in black gingham who were my antecedents, so giving me an idea of the generations and then on to what were then called the ‘facts of life’.
When I worked as a registered general nurse in the 1980s, I would often attempt to allay my patients’ anxieties by chatting with them about their formative years and what they knew about local history.
Reminiscence therapy is increasingly focused on dementia sufferers, which makes as much sense as suggesting that porridge is only appropriate for those with swallowing difficulties. Reminiscence therapy can be a benefit for us all – we can all learn from hindsight. But like many therapies, it is not without its (often unforseen) risks – close contact with a football my evoke distressing memories of when a person was molested in a sports changing room when they were a boy. Not all memories are rosy.
Many elderly people take a keen interest in current affairs but the older we get, the less of this life there is to look forward to, so it is only natural that more of our thoughts will dwell upon times gone by. Let’s not forget that we all like to remember and, while we may all occasionally tax our memories, at least the Government can’t.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.