Care Team Connect: Reminiscing


  • Helping with Reminiscing

Helping with Reminiscing 

The goal of reminiscing is to help people with dementia feel valued and connected to happy memories in their past. Using a tablet can help caregivers facilitate reminiscing activities; as they can, explore images and videos connect to the recipient’s past experiences. 

REMINISCING VS. REMEMBERING  

Understanding the difference between reminiscing and remembering  

For many people with dementia, memories from their younger years are more easily accessible than recent memories. Revisiting these fond memories can be very gratifying and uplifting.  

However, being asked to remember specific information or details about past memories can be extremely frustrating or stressful. Instead of asking questions about a past event, tell them what you know about their experiences and allow for the recipient to provide commentary.

For example - imagine you’re looking at an image of the care recipient with a group of friends and family. Instead of asking, “who are those people in the picture with you?” - tell the client about what you see in the photo.  

Below are some examples of how you may describe a photo with people, you do not recognize:

  • “What a beautiful family photo - I can see the family resemblance. ”
  • “Check out your outfit. I like your hair style and dress combination.”
  • “You’re smiling awfully big in that picture. It must have been a good day!”

As you’re reminiscing, you may notice factual inaccuracies or misremembering. Avoid the temptation to correct these errors. The specific details are not important; the positive emotions associated with these past events should be the focus.

USING PHOTOS & VIDEOS 

Familiar sights and sounds can help encourage reminiscing. Caregivers can use a tablet to search for images and videos that are related to the recipient’s past experiences.

Images and videos may include:  

  • Classic TV shows or movies
  • Live musical performances
  • Cities or attractions from the past
  • Car shows or antiques
  • Historical events
  • Nature or animal videos
  • Sporting events 

YouTube: Practice Activity

The YouTube practice activity is optional. Depending on your group’s level of comfort using the tablets, you may want to forego the lesson. Using the YouTube app may be overwhelming for caregivers that do not have experience using technology. If you forego practicing YouTube during the group session, you can selectively introduce it to caregivers that are comfortable navigating the tablet.  

If you decide to practice with YouTube, prompt caregivers to search for content related to a specific hobby, interest, or event from the past. Review the follow features to ensure that caregivers are comfortable exploring videos:  

  • Search for a specific video
  • View and/or skip advertisements
  • Play a video in full-screen mode
  • Close a video when finished watching  

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Helping with Reminiscing

The goal of reminiscing is to help people with dementia feel valued and connected to happy memories in their past. Using a tablet can help caregivers facilitate reminiscing activities; as they can, explore images and videos connect to the recipient’s past experiences.

REMINISCING VS. REMEMBERING  

Understanding the difference between reminiscing and remembering  

For many people with dementia, memories from their younger years are more easily accessible than recent memories. Revisiting these fond memories can be very gratifying and uplifting.  

However, being asked to remember specific information or details about past memories can be extremely frustrating or stressful. Instead of asking questions about a past event, tell them what you know about their experiences and allow for the recipient to provide commentary.

For example - imagine you’re looking at an image of the care recipient with a group of friends and family. Instead of asking, “who are those people in the picture with you?” - tell the client about what you see in the photo.  

Below are some examples of how you may describe a photo with people, you do not recognize:

  • “What a beautiful family photo - I can see the family resemblance. ”
  • “Check out your outfit. I like your hair style and dress combination.”
  • “You’re smiling awfully big in that picture. It must have been a good day!”


As you’re reminiscing, you may notice factual inaccuracies or misremembering. Avoid the temptation to correct these errors. The specific details are not important; the positive emotions associated with these past events should be the focus.

USING PHOTOS & VIDEOS 

Familiar sights and sounds can help encourage reminiscing. Caregivers can use a tablet to search for images and videos that are related to the recipient’s past experiences.

Images and videos may include:  

  • Classic TV shows or movies
  • Live musical performances
  • Cities or attractions from the past
  • Car shows or antiques
  • Historical events
  • Nature or animal videos
  • Sporting events 

YouTube: Practice Activity

The YouTube practice activity is optional. Depending on your group’s level of comfort using the tablets, you may want to forego the lesson. Using the YouTube app may be overwhelming for caregivers that do not have experience using technology. If you forego practicing YouTube during the group session, you can selectively introduce it to caregivers that are comfortable navigating the tablet.  

If you decide to practice with YouTube, prompt caregivers to search for content related to a specific hobby, interest, or event from the past. Review the follow features to ensure that caregivers are comfortable exploring videos:

  • Search for a specific video
  • View and/or skip advertisements
  • Play a video in full-screen mode
  • Close a video when finished watching 

Care Team Connect: Introductions & Icebreakers


  • Helping with Reminiscing

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