Gerontological Reminiscence

Gerontological Reminiscence

Aging is associated with various chronic diseases that impair the quality of life. Nursing interventions are essential to ensure that the elderly live a happy life. Most of the older adults suffer from loneliness, depression, and anxiety when they are undergoing long-term care for chronic diseases. Usually, weak immunity, isolation, and cognitive problems tend to worsen the impacts of aging. In this regard, reminiscence and life review are two primary treatment modalities that are used interchangeably. They can help the elderly find meaning through reflection on their life experiences. Reminiscence therapy is a non-pharmacological and non-stigmatizing intervention, which improves self-esteem. It provides older adults with a sense of comfort and fulfillment as they reflect on their past life.

It is a crucial nursing intervention as it encourages the patient to interact and communicate with nurses or other caregivers in the present world. As depicted by Morrie, sharing life stories gives the person the interest of building new relationships which helps them to overcome the fear and anxiety of treatment. Moreover, reminiscence is a therapeutic modality while life review is evaluating the life lived by the individual and the memorable moments (Elias, Neville, & Scott, 2015). Offering group reminiscence therapy to individuals who are affected by depression is essential as part of complementary and alternative medicine. Psychotherapy has been used as an essential tool since long ago to ensure that older patients comfortably. Communication is significant in managing patients who are suffering from chronic illnesses. Thus, gerontological nurses play crucial roles in service delivery concerning reminiscence.

Reminiscence therapy involves engaging the older adults throughout the day with a positive interaction during shower/bed times, meal times or when administering drugs. During this time, open-ended questions are vital to engage the patient. Communication skills are essential to guarantee maximized effect of reminiscence is achieved. This is because most of the older adults may have cognitive, vision, speech, language, or hearing impairment (Henkel, Kris, Birney, & Krauss, 2017). To improve effective communication strategies, I would consider employing several tips. In patients with dementia, food, vibration, movement, and sound could trigger significant memories. Moreover, photographs, souvenirs, and keepsakes are essential tools that I would consider making use of. In addition, showing proper respect, active listening, building rapport, and showing sincerity are crucial elements.

Furthermore, it is essential to start with the right body language when approaching a patient with a chronic disease. Listening to clients gives them hope to talk about their problems because they feel that someone is caring for them and they are not alone. Showing empathy and using plan language is fundamental when communicating with older adults. Sensory challenges are common among this age group. Thus, recognizing such problems will help in delivering the desired service to the patient. Interpersonal communication is considered the most vital tool of connecting people with their environment (Buchanan, Moorhouse, Cabico, Krock, Campbell, & Spevakow, 2016). Patients can adjust to their immediate environments such as a hospital setting or nursing home. Nurses are considered as the cornerstone of promoting health among this age group that is prone to medical conditions.

Finally, culture and family values have a significant impact on older adults. Besides, the cultural background has considerable relevance and effect on nurses’ behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes. While working with older patients, it is essential to consider cultural beliefs, norms, and values which share the meaning given to health conditions. Most importantly, the family is a crucial element while offering long-term care to a particular patient. In this regard, the family members are needed during decision making regarding the health status of their loved one.


Buchanan, D., Moorhouse, A., Cabico, L., Krock, M., Campbell, H., & Spevakow, D. (2016). A critical review and synthesis of literature on reminiscing with older adults. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research Archive34(3).

Elias, S. M. S., Neville, C., & Scott, T. (2015). The effectiveness of group reminiscence therapy for loneliness, anxiety and depression in older adults in long-term care: A systematic review. Geriatric Nursing36(5), 372-380.

Henkel, L. A., Kris, A., Birney, S., & Krauss, K. (2017). The functions and value of reminiscence for older adults in long-term residential care facilities. Memory25(3), 425-435.

luispucela84. “Tuesdays with Morrie (TV 1999).” YouTube, YouTube, 19 May 2013,