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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Huelat

Christmas Magic of Reminiscence Therapy

The air is filled with the spirit of Christmas, bustling with parties, gifts, reunions, and joyful gatherings. Amidst these heartwarming moments, many of us cherish the presence of our grandparents or loved ones grappling with dementia. It's common to find them sitting in quiet bewilderment amid the celebrations. But there's a way to make a profound difference by including them in the festivities, infusing a sparkle into their eyes and warmth into their hearts. And during this time of year, when reminiscences of bygone Christmases dance around us, it's especially poignant.

Enter Reminiscence Therapy – an engaging approach that resurrects older memories through familiar objects, sensory triggers, and heartfelt conversations. Christmas carols, for instance, work wonders. Initiating a rendition of "White Christmas" might just have them joining in, their voices harmonizing with yours. The scent of Christmas greens can be a gateway to cherished recollections. Encourage Grandma to savor the aroma of a freshly baked pie or take in the fragrance of an evergreen bow. Personal touches matter – share hugs, smiles, hold their hands, and witness the magic unfold. Smiles and laughter are infectious, transcending the need for words.

This festive season is an ideal time to revisit old photo albums, flipping through pages that encapsulate Christmases of yore. Involve your loved ones in the little details – inspect ornaments on the tree, reminisce about those gifted to you or crafted together with their grandchildren.

And amidst the merriment, don't underestimate the importance of rest. Holidays can be draining for both you and your caregiver.

Reminiscence therapy is an invaluable gift, particularly effective during this season rich in sensory experiences. Embrace the ornate decorations, twinkling lights, age-old melodies, chiming bells, and infectious laughter to envelop your loved one in the beauty of this time of year.

For further inspiration, I recommend watching the touching Chevy Christmas commercial. It might tug at your heartstrings but will undoubtedly inspire you to reach out and immerse your loved one in the warmth of Christmas cheer.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and sending warm wishes,

December 2023

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