Dementia Patients Reap Benefits from Memory Clubs

  • Added:
    Jul 03, 2014
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Dementia Patients Reap Benefits from Memory Clubs Photo by Phyllis Lehman

People with dementia are being encouraged to join Memory Clubs more and more often. These clubs are a successful and popular form of Reminiscence Therapy. These social groups or clubs are formed around shared and intense interests, where participants gather and may discuss their opinions, experiences and feelings.

These groups could be focused on sports such as football or hockey, hobbies such as model trains or gardening or art. Participants get to focus on topics in which they are knowledgeable and passionate, giving them an enjoyable social activity.

Reminiscence Therapy is a therapy that focuses on reflection and not simply recall. Discussions are different from that which would typically occur in casual conversation. Reminiscence therapy may use prompts such as photographs, music, personal recordings or familiar items from the past to encourage discussion of earlier memories. So, the demand cognitively is deeper and discussions are more meaningful to the participant.

For the elderly who suffer from dementia, Memory Clubs, as a pathway for Reminiscence Therapy, is beneficial to improving cognitive function and quality of life. Dementia is a broad term used to describe a condition of declined mental ability that interferes with daily life. Often, we think of it as memory loss affecting our elderly population. While there is no cure for dementia, there are some treatments that have been found to be helpful.

Participants in these Memory Clubs report both cognitive and social benefits. They show improvement with memory and language abilities. And socially, they report having a stronger sense of self and improved positive mood. And, this is all provided by an enjoyable social activity at a time when opportunities for meaningful socialization decline, often leaving our elderly with feelings of isolation. Overall, Memory Clubs are a very low budget and potentially beneficial way to treat and enrich the lives of our elderly dementia population.

In 2013, the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association formed the Cardinals Reminiscence League. This group meets twice monthly for discussions, field trips, guest speakers and baseball related movie viewings. And, because there is minimal training required for volunteers, there are many opportunities for family members to volunteer and share in the lives of their aging loved ones.

If you would like to find a Memory Club in your area, consult the resources below:

Alzheimer's Association

Or, it is easy to start one yourself.

David York Agency is acquainted with this exciting approach and is always available to set up a senior care plan taking the whole patient into account. We are ultra-sensitive to the state of mind of our elderly patients and are committed to treating them with the respect and understanding that their years have earned them. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 with any questions or visit our website at to schedule a free consultation.

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Article Source: David York Agency

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