Campbell River

Hospice Society

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Reflections - Life Review Program

Life Review and Reminiscence Therapy

In hospice care and in many nursing homes, the process of thinking back on one's life and communicating about one's life to another person is called life review. Life review is an important part of bringing one's life to a close. As life ends, we want to know that we have truly been seen by someone in this world, and that our life has had value and meaning.

The term reminiscence therapy can include a wide variety of techniques used by both professionals and non-professionals in many settings. It can be found in hospitals, senior centers, community groups, and other programs. The effectiveness of reminiscence therapy when used with persons experiencing cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer's Disease, clinical depression, or other mental problems is a subject of some debate, but adherents feel strongly that it can be an effective method to reach the unresponsive elderly.

Reminiscence is common at the end of life and many people find it helpful to reflect on their lives. This can be done in structured ways to recall and sometimes document a life which is coming to an end. Many formal techniques for life review are used in hospice settings, often with participation by loved ones who also benefit from the communication process and by the creation of a permanent historical record. In terminal care the goal of the life review is to help bring closure rather than as a treatment method for confusion or withdrawl, but these benefits may ensue as secondary benefits.

Life review can be considered a form of oral history. Many families find it meaningful to write down stories in notebooks or more formal recording workbooks. Making audiotapes and videotapes can be an important adjunct to the oral history taking.

Our Life Review program allows you to reflect on the memories and experiences of a lifetime.  We will gladly capture this via audio or visual storytelling, writing or scrapbooking.  All of this is done with the assistance of our amazing volunteers.

Please call to set up an appointment for this.