Monday, February 27, 2023

Introduction to Reminiscence Arts to Benefit Persons Living with Dementia


Within the Community Care sector, we are always looking for new ways to improve the quality of life of seniors. The Reminiscence Arts for Dementia course by Dementia Singapore is one of the courses that demonstrates how Community Care organisations seek alternative and effective ways of ensuring that the lives of people living with dementia remain rich and fulfilling.

Through Reminiscence Arts, clients get to share their stories and memories by creating their own artwork and crafting a tangible keepsake for their past experiences. At the same time, they get a chance to work on their communication skills and creativity with the help of Community Care professionals.

Want to find out how to involve yourself in the Reminiscence Arts course as a Community Care professional? Read on.  


What is Reminiscence Arts?

A typical sign of dementia is a gradual loss of memory. While the process seems inevitable, Reminiscence Arts helps people living with dementia continue to lead enriched and meaningful lives even as their condition progresses.

Reminiscence Arts uses prompts such as pictures, music, and objects to encourage discussions about one’s past events and experiences. Reminiscence Arts, which is the practice and exploration of lived experience, is an extension of reminiscence therapy. It incorporates elements of creative art and artmaking, such as painting and clay-making, into the exploration of past life experiences.


Who is suitable for the Reminiscence Arts for Dementia course?

This course is suitable for all Allied Health professionals, psychosocial staff, and care staff who plan and conduct activities and programmes for persons living with dementia. Participants are required to complete a few self-paced e-learning modules before attending the classroom training sessions. This requirement ensures that they will be able to fully appreciate the learning activities that will be conducted in class.

At the end of the Reminiscence Arts for Dementia course, all learners will be required to submit a video recording of a 30-minute session that was conducted, along with a written reflection of the video for their review of their practical performance and oral questioning. There will also be a one-hour virtual review to mark the completion of their learning.

A Certificate of Performance under the AIC Learning Network will be issued to participants who successfully complete the course.


Why Reminiscence Arts?

Apart from empowering persons living with dementia by motivating them to express themselves through various art mediums, Reminiscence Arts also has other known benefits in the context of dementia care, such as improvements in communication with staff and family, cognition and mood, as well as increased quality of life.

Reminiscence Arts encourages imaginative play, which provides sensory, visual, and tactile stimulation for persons with dementia, qualities often limited in other reminiscence therapy forms as they are mostly conversation-based. This form of play means that participants would not need any prior experience in artmaking, as the activity’s main aim is to let them express themselves organically, guided only by the specific themes provided by their facilitators.


How is Reminiscence Arts meaningful for persons living with dementia?

The act of artmaking in Reminiscence Arts allows persons living with mild or moderate stage dementia the ability to create and actualise artwork, providing them a sense of accomplishment with each completed piece. It also improves their verbal communication and socialisation skills when they share the stories and meanings behind their craft with the people around them. This allows caregivers to better understand their loved ones’ thoughts and feelings and hence strengthens the relationship and rapport between both parties.

Aside from jogging their memories, Reminiscence Arts can encourage persons with dementia to foster new interests and realise new things about themselves, especially for those who have not tried artmaking before.

Interested in learning how to facilitate Reminiscence Arts for persons with dementia? Visit AIC Learning Network to find out more and register for the course on Reminiscence Arts for Dementia. Don’t forget to also browse other courses on dementia care offered by Dementia Singapore!

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