Agora Association
First reminiscence center in romania



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What reminiscence is?


Reminiscence sessions

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Asociatia Agora - Primul centru de reminiscente din Romania

Reminiscence centers


What reminiscence is and how to run a reminiscence group
Coordonating reminiscence sessions
Confidentiality and planning reminiscence sessions
Evaluating reminiscence sessions
Advantages for beneficiaries
Advantages for take-carers
Examples of themes



Coordinating reminiscence sessions

Reminiscence sessions mean more than just talking to other people about things from your past. During these meetings, the group monitor has to stimulate participants by various means, in order to bring back as many memories as possible. Thus, he should properly know the topics to be discussed and prepare appropriate stimulation techniques. For a better performance of the participants, we suggest a circular arrangement of the chairs, so that all participants should be able to clearly see and hear one another. If the group includes hypo-acoustic patients, these should best be placed next to the monitor, who will be at any time ready to repeat or write down any information that hasn’t been well heard or understood. Do not haste any participant; let them take the time they need to think and explore their memory. It is equally not recommended to skip quickly from one activity to another. Some individuals require more time in order to bring back memories, put these into words and thus answer a specific requirement. Usually, once brought back long forgotten memories, people experiences an intense feeling of satisfaction and content, which also leads to an increasing self esteem due to the fact that patients themselves are astonished by their own performances. Reaching this achievement needs no haste and a lot of patience. The group monitor should avoid any questions that participants cannot answer or impies just one word as an answer. It is recommended to chose questions that offer the freedom of open answers. Show a real interest towards what people have to say, without shouting or making fun of anything any participant does or says. A good monitor should not put him/herself in the spotlight and talk a lot about him/her knowledge or experience. Each story told during these sessions should be properly and visibly valued, each contribution being important and interesting. We recommend monitors to encourage al members to interact with one another and try to avoid one-sided communication, that is with the monitor him/herself. This can be done by kindly asking somebody to repeat loudly something that he/she whispered to the monitor, so that everybody should hear the message and participate.

It is essential to create multiple connections between reminiscence activities of various participants. For example, two people belonging to the same group, that have lived during childhood in the same neighborhood, can be encouraged to share with one another their memories, starting from this common ground. Here is just one of the many methods to start such a communication net: “Miss X., you told us you liked during childhood in the Colentina area. Remember, Mister Y. told us last week about himself having lived for 15 years in this neighborhood. You could ask him about where exactly his house was, what school he went to, and so on.”. Another practical method of stimulating participants to interact and communicate with one another is by allowing participants to discuss and work in pairs, to look at some pictures in small groups, etc.











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