The Reminiscence Project
What is Reminiscence?
"The process or practice of thinking or telling about past experiences or memories."
How will our project work?
Over the course of four weekly visits, we will engage residents at a local senior home or community centre for one hour in discussion, play, and sensory exploration to facilitate the recollection of memories and stories from their lives. Some prompts for sharing will include objects from the past, music, photos, or text. Each participant will be offered the opportunity to share, listen, or respond to other group members. The project is inclusive to all participants. As our work is intergenerational in scope, after each session we will (with the resident’s permission) curate and offer a story or memory for younger generations to access through social media and for local elementary schools to include in their social studies content. Feedback from these posts and offerings will be shared with group participants in subsequent meetings.
Why is reminiscence important?
Our reminiscence project will enable the passing on of valuable experiences and stories from older Newfoundland and Labradorians to younger generations. Eliciting these reminiscences from seniors validates and celebrates their lives and stories, improves self-esteem, and will facilitate them knowing one another better, as well as engaging with aspects of themselves that may not be often recognized.
Reminiscence is used in other parts of the world as a fun, beneficial therapy to older adults as well as an important conduit for intergenerational understanding and appreciation. We believe engagement of this kind is crucial in light of the isolation so many people are enduring now in the interest of safety.
Sharing these discoveries and memories with young people will provide an opportunity to build empathy, learn about history, and engage with tangible culture.
What is included in the session?
The four-week program includes two facilitators present at each meeting, materials, and original content. If you wish to continue the program, the four-week session can be adapted to accommodate the same group engaging with new material or can be facilitated with a new group of residents. No two meetings will ever be the same as so much is dependant on the participation of individuals present!
What we need from schools:
What we need from homes/groups:
Please reach out to be added to our weekly school Reminiscence newsletter. Included each week will be written content, photos, voice recordings and possibly video. We hope you will send students responses so we can share with senior participants!
In advance of the program start date, we ask that you choose residents to participate, or promote the program to interested parties. We are happy to provide posters!