Sharing Their Stories

How would you like to read your great grandmother’s story, in her own words?  What her life was like, how she met your great grandfather, her hopes and dreams? Very few of us have ancestors who kept diaries, but with today’s technologies we can easily hand down our parent’s and grandparent’s precious memories to their descendants.Reminiscing and telling their stories is beneficial to those with dementia and Alzheimer’s as it gives them a sense of competence and confidence as well as giving special meaning to their time with others. The present may be confusing, while reliving their past can be safe and comforting as those memories remain clearer than memories of recent events.

For those in the early stages of the disease, preserving their memories may be an ongoing shared activity filled with purpose and meaning. In later stages, the simple telling and hearing of their stories and reliving those memories can give pleasure while perhaps briefly opening a window of awareness.