It is widely recognised that older people, particularly those affected by memory loss, can engage and communicate very successfully if the conversation sparks a memory from their past and they are given the opportunity to recall the details of that memory.
Reminiscence is the practice of improving communication with older people by engaging them in conversation using sensory stimuli as triggers to spark memories. Talking about the present can be very stressful for people with short term memory loss. Reminiscence is a way to comfortably travel back to the older person’s past and allows them to share their memories of life when they were younger.
This resource has been written by Karen Meenan in collaboration with Engaging Dementia. In it Karen shares her experience of reminiscence and how it enabled her family to help her mother experience fun and joy in the years following a diagnosis with Alzheimer’s.
It has been produced thanks to sponsorship from Home Instead Senior Care Ballsbridge.
DCU Reminiscence Theatre Workshop
We are delighted to welcome Karen Meenan to the DCU All Hallows Campus in March to facilitate a Reminiscence Theatre Workshop.
Here is some information about the work of the Reminiscence Theatre:
Following her mother's death in 2016, Karen did a BA in Drama and spent a year studying how to bring Reminiscence Theatre to Ireland, creating the opportunity for people to write their own stories and writing plays about their own lives.
She founded Making Hay Theatre in Sep 2017 – since then has written two plays ‘We Were All Young Once’ and ‘A Play with Me in it’. She is currently doing a series of reminiscence workshops in Navan Alzheimer’s Day Centre and co-creating a new play called ‘The Magic Navan Carpet’.
Age-Friendly University Network Global Coordinator
Bea Orpen Building
The Sonas apc Conference was held on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th April in The Helix, DCU, Glasnevin. Karen Meenan presented a workshop on ‘Finding the Fun in Dementia – Reminiscence as a positive way to enrich the lives of those affected by memory loss’ on Tuesday 17th at 1.45 to 4.45pm. More details can be found on www.sonasapc.ie.
Reminiscence through art and drama - This session focused on how the arts can be used to facilitate reminiscence. It was chaired by Maria Pasiecznik Parsons, Chief Executive, Creative Dementia Arts Network (CDAN) UK. Karen Meenan, Founder, Making Hay Reminiscence Theatre, first Ireland member of the European Reminiscence Network, and Volunteer, Forget-me-Nots Choir
Finding the Fun in Dementia – Reminiscence as a positive way to enrich the lives of those affected by memory loss; David Savill, Artistic Director, Age Exchange UK, Reminiscence Arts in Dementia Care: Impact on Quality of Life; Karen Watchman, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, University of Stirling, Football focused reminiscence in dementia care: Impact on quality of life.
Making Hay Theatre is honoured and delighted to be chosen as the first Ireland member of the European Reminiscence Network (ERN). Dublin has been chosen as the host city for the next ERN Conference from 1st to 4th May 2019. If you are interested in finding out more details about this conference, please contact Karen Meenan.
“We Were All Young Once”
Karen Meenan, founder of Making Hay Theatre, talks to Noel McGuinness about the play “We Were All Young Once” which is returning to Axis on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 February 2018 (four shows 2pm and 8pm daily). The idea for the play started last year with residents of Howth Hill Lodge nursing home. Reminiscence workshops took place with members of the “Forget-Me-Nots” dementia-inclusive choir and teenagers from Santa Sabina School. The result is an inter-generational play which has sensory stimuli and is suitable for people of all ages – especially Grandparents and Teenagers! This show sold out with a waiting list for tickets in November – book early for tickets Axis Ballymun 01 883 2100 or online at www.axisballymun.ie.
Tickets €15/€10 concession (Senior/Student/Unwaged).