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Friday, August 31, 2007

Reminiscing and Memories for Seniors and Caregivers

Reminiscing is an activity often enjoyed by seniors and recalling details from earlier in their lives can be good memory exercise.

Caregivers can share in the enjoyment as seniors tell stories about what it was like to cook in the kitchens of the 20's and 30's, or to drive the automobiles of that era.

When I ask seniors to describe the house where they grew up and the surrounding area there are always some interesting details.

Today we have fast food on almost every corner. Recently someone in his 70's said that he almost never had a meal with more than one type of food at a time during the depression, but whatever it was they had plenty of it. To this day he appreciates a plate with a wide variety and Hometown Buffet is his favorite place to eat.

One senior told me the story of living a long way down a dirt road on a dairy farm. Every morning at 4:30 a.m. the young couple milked about 24 dairy cows, and just as the sun was rising drove a wagon with a team of horses several miles to take the milk cans to a paved road where a truck picked up the milk. This was just the beginning of their day.

There is a magazine available called "Reminisce" that some of my caregiver clients and I have enjoyed reading and sharing.

When there is a stretch of quiet time you can always ask a question about what Christmas was like in the 1920's, or how people celebrated birthdays in the 30's.

One person described a Christmas tree the family had when they lived in a dry region and finances were low. The mother got some dried sage branches, sprayed them silver, and hung handsewn decorations on them. He said it was the prettiest tree he has ever seen, to this day.

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