It’s important for us at reminisart™ to ensure that our product does more than just provide decoration.
Pictures are, in fact, a widely used tool in care models like reminiscence therapy and Person Centred Care, methods that celebrate patients as people first. It’s important that caregivers have the chance to see the individual in the context of their own social worlds and to engage them with partnership, collaboration, and empathy. Caregivers are often so busy, they may lack the time to care for others in the way they so deeply want to.
Using photos as a supporting tool lightens the burden for caregivers and strengthens the patient-clinician relationship by giving both parties something to connect over.
Especially for persons with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, or those who can no longer communicate verbally, a photo collage allows them to tell us about themselves without having to speak or respond to questions they might not remember the answer to. As David Troxel, the internationally-known expert in Alzheimer’s disease and memory care, advocates in his Best Friends™ Approach: learning a person's Life Story helps the caregiver guide them in recalling happy times and successes, and allows the care partner to slow down and be present for the one living with dementia.
Our reminisart collages are a tangible, visual supporting tool for these models of care. A senior looking at a portrait of their younger self with a pet or a friend might feel moved to share a spontaneous story. Or, if unable to articulate, seeing a picture of a family trip or a favourite activity can still elicit feelings of love, joy, warmth.
Our loved ones’ memories work better in the past. Whereas they struggle with their memory in the present, when looking through old photographs they can confidently recall past events in detail, and evoke pleasant memories. Even if two individuals experience a picture differently, an image can bring connection, giving both an opportunity to share something meaningful. Research has shown that these moments increase contentment and reduce stress levels for seniors, which in turn can reduce aggressive or challenging behaviours like wandering.
For those living in retirement care, a reminisart allows them to feel more like themselves. They can see their true selves again, and feel pride and joy in the lives they’ve led, who they are, and what remains in their heart.
© reminisart inc. 2021