Reminiscence Work with Older Adults
The Multi-Sensory Reminiscence Activity Book
52 Weekly Group Session Plans for Working with Older Adults
Sophie Jopling and Sarah Mousley
Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2017 ISBN: 9781785922398
There are few of us in early middle age who do not know someone who is living with some of the opportunities and challenges of growing older. Sadly for some of our loved ones this includes a significant amount of confusion and memory loss caused by dementia -related illness.
Jessica Kingsley continues its reputation for providing practical books informed by learning and theory to support professionals in their engagement with older adults. This book offers what it describes as multi-sensory group sessions for each day of the year.
Here is an indication of the range and scope of the starting points: train travel, coffee, the Queen and her Coronation, summer, apples, bonfire night, chocolate and school days. Reminiscence is used to stimulate memory and sensory function. When reading and reflecting on the exercises it is possible to glimpse the carefulness with which each session is planned to see and feel the difference that this engagement might make.
The authors are state registered occupational therapists and as such are aware of the importance of clarity both in relation to objectives and resources. Activities range from word games and poetry to food tasting, music and group discussions. Downloadable colour photographs and word cards are offered in addition as tools for conversation.
We should also note the carefulness with which the writers have planned activities for people with a range of abilities in order to support memory, sensory function communication and connection. There is imagination and fun – engagement and practicality running throughout this workbook.
Faced with significant fear around memory loss and the immediate sense of not being able to connect and help it is not an overstatement to note that this book has real capacity for transformative support and care. It is much needed as we consider how best to support and develop our responsibility to older adults and their experience and place within the community.