How we incorporate reminiscence into daily nursing home life

Reminiscing at Country Lodge

It is often said that life is about making memories and no matter whether we spend years travelling the world or raising a family, every moment is a memory. These memories provide us with something to look back on and reminisce about at any age.

As well as it being beneficial for us all to reminisce, we find that it is a great way to get to know our residents and to kick start conversations in our nursing home. So, here is how we incorporate reminiscence into our daily routines at our nursing home in Worthing.

What is reminiscence?

Reminiscence is remembering a collection of past events or experiences and sharing them, often in story telling to another person.

It is also a cognitive therapy that can be hugely beneficial for us all, but especially to those living with different forms of dementia, memory loss and other cognitive disorders.

This type of therapy can be done in many different ways, but the aim is always the same; to help the participant to remember people, events or places. This is often achieved through stimulating and triggering any of the five senses.

Triggering memories can be done through conversations, using possessions or objects, watching films or listening to music or even revisiting places that hold meaning for a loved one.

Much like dancing or learning to play a musical instrument, memory is a skill that needs to be practised to get the most out of it. Exercising the memory muscles will help to slow down the cognitive decline that comes with ageing, which is why it is important to reminisce as we age.

What are the benefits of reminiscing?

Reminiscing can promote the use of several different areas of the brain that are commonly affected by a cognitive disorder. Activities that include reminiscing can also provide benefit such as:

  • Increased communication
  • Higher levels of confidence and self-esteem
  • Lower stress levels
  • Relieved symptoms of depression and boredom
  • Reduced irritability
  • Individuals can be more at ease with their surroundings

Reminiscence isn’t just good exercise for the person remembering but it is also great for the loved ones of that person. Not only will it provide a minute or two of respite from seeing a loved one confused, stressed or irritable, but it can also enable you to learn about new parts of their lives that they might not have spoken much about previously.

What we do at Country Lodge Nursing Home

At Country Lodge we always love to listen to our residents’ stories and memories, which is why we do a variety of things to encourage it.

Personalising rooms

A big part of living at our nursing home in Worthing, is personalising the room. We encourage our residents to bring photos, furniture and objects from their own homes into their room in our nursing home.

We hope that this encourages them to remember their past when alone in their room, but also we like to use these as conversation starters with any of our residents.

Many stories can come from an object and a simple question from our staff members about the photo or object, which can trigger many memories being shared with us and a reminiscent conversation.

Musical activities

We often have special guests in our nursing home to perform music for our residents.

From piano recitals, to swing music to a bit of jazz, we love to invite a range of guests in, providing our residents with a variety of music to enjoy.

Research has proven that music can be a powerful stimulator for memories, so we will always encourage our residents to attend any music activities we have organised and to share their thoughts and memories with us during and after the performance.

Watching films

On a rainy Sunday afternoon or on a quiet week day, we like to stick a movie on in our lounge. From classics such as The Great Escape, to newer releases like The Greatest Showman we sit with our residents and enjoy a movie afternoon.

We will endeavour to watch a range of films that are set across a host of periods and cover a variety of genres. We especially love watching movies that were released as our residents grew up as they often trigger memories of going to see it with friends or family, and they can even unlock other memories from their childhood.

After watching a movie, there is always time to sit and chat about memories that have been evoked by the visuals, music, soundscapes or story in the movie.

One on one conversations

We are lucky at our nursing home in Worthing, because we have a dedicated activities ambassador, Delores.

Delores will take time out to spend one to one time with each of our residents, where they can talk about anything they would like. Most often this will lead to a bit of reminiscing as the residents share stories about their childhood, or raising a family, or a trip they went on.

This is a favourite activity of Delores’ as she gets to learn more and more about our residents and delve into their past.

Creative Talks

We also enjoy guest speeches from Creative Talks. In recent months we have had talks on the last 50 years and Influential women through the century.

These have been great at getting our residents to reminisce as they reflected on the changes they have seen in their lifetime and some of the women who have been influential to them.

Looking for a nursing home?

As you can tell, we love to get our residents chatting about their life experiences, not just for their own benefit but also so that we can learn more about them.

These are just a few of the ways that we incorporate reminiscing into our daily routines at our nursing home in Worthing. To find out how else our residents get reminiscing, come and visit us and we can show you our home while talking about our activities.

To book a viewing with us, call us on 01903 830600 or email our Registered Manager, Debbie Spokes at

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