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... What Are the Functions and Value of Reminiscence for Nursing Home Residents? Sarah Birney, Kaitlyn Krauss, Emily Peters, Monique Goguen, Alison Kris,

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Presentation on theme: "... What Are the Functions and Value of Reminiscence for Nursing Home Residents? Sarah Birney, Kaitlyn Krauss, Emily Peters, Monique Goguen, Alison Kris,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ... What Are the Functions and Value of Reminiscence for Nursing Home Residents? Sarah Birney, Kaitlyn Krauss, Emily Peters, Monique Goguen, Alison Kris, & Linda Henkel Fairfield University (Interdisciplinary Health Scholars Program) Why do people reminisce about their past, and what functions and values does reminiscing and sharing one’s life experiences and memories with others have? Previous research has shown that reminiscing about the past and evoking a sense of nostalgia can increase well-being and social connectedness, and can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety about death (Barrett et al., 2010; Cappeliez et al., 2005; Juhl et al., 2010; O’Rourke et al., 2011; Routledge et al., 2011; Westerhof et al., 2010; Wildschut et al., 2010; Zhou et al., 2012). Sharing autobiographical memories with others has been shown to increase empathy and intimacy, resulting in positive feelings about one’s own life, a greater sense of meaning, and more accessible and detailed personal memories (Alea & Bluck, 2007; Bluck et al., 2013). There are more than 2.2 million older adults residing in U.S. nursing homes, a number that could more than double by 2050 (Jones, 2009), and little is known about the functions and value of reminiscence in this population: The present study examines this by addressing how often nursing home residents reminisce, why, and with whom. INTRODUCTION METHOD RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS Subjects: 23 (17 female, 6 male) nursing home residents from two Connecticut nursing homes (73-93 yrs, M=87.68 ) participated Measures: Cognitive Function: Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) Functions/Frequency of Reminiscence and Nostalgia: Reminisce Functions Scale (RFS) Thinking About Life Experience Scale (TALE) Southampton Nostalgia Scale (SNS) Additional measures developed for this study Well-Being and Mental Health: UCLA Loneliness Scale Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale (PGCMS) Social Interaction Scale (SIS) [developed for this study] REFERENCES ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Funding for the study was provided by the Interdisciplinary Health Scholars Program at Fairfield University. We are grateful for the support of Dr. Lynn Babington (Dean of School of Nursing) and Dr. Robbin Crabtree (Dean of School of Arts and Sciences). Alea, N., & Bluck, S. (2007). I’ll keep you in mind the intimacy function of autobiographical memory. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, Barrett, F., Grimm, K., Robins, R., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., & Janata, P. (2010). Music-evoked nostalgia: Affect, memory, and personality. Emotion, 10, 390–403. Bluck, S., Baron, J., Ainsworth, S., Gesselman, A., & Gold, K. (2013). Eliciting Empathy for Adults in Chronic Pain through Autobiographical Memory Sharing. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 27, 81–90. Cappeliezi, P., O’Rourke, N., & Chadhury, H. (2005). Functions of reminiscence and mental health in later life. Aging & Mental Health, 9, 295–301. Juhl, J., Routledge, C., Arndt, J., Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., (2010) Fighting the future with the past: Nostalgia buffers existenstial threat. Journal of Research in Personality, 44, O’Rourke, N., Cappeliez, P., & Claxton, A. (2011). Functions of reminiscence and the psychological well-being of young-old and older adults over time. Aging & Mental Health, 15, 272–281. Westerhof, G., Bohlmeijer, E., M. J. Van Beljouw, I., Pot, A. M., (2010). Improvement in personal meaning mediates the effects of a life review intervention on depressive symptoms in a randomized controlled trial. The Gerontologist. 50, Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., Routledge, C., Arndt, J., & Cordaro, P. (2010). Nostalgia as a repository of social connectedness: The role of attachment-related avoidance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, Zhou, W., He, G., Gao, J., Yuan, Q., Feng, H., (2012). The effects of group reminiscence therapy on depression, self-esteem, and affect balance of Chinese community-dwelling elderly. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 54, Table 1. Who Do They Reminisce With? 1 = Almost Never … 5 = Very Frequently WhoMSDMedian Alone Family Residents Staff Table 3. Why Do Nursing Home Residents Reminisce? 1 = Never … 6 = Very frequently Function M SD Intimacy Teaching Understanding the Present Conversation Identity Meaning & Sense Making* Boredom Reduction Emotion Regulation* Problem Solving Death Preparation Bitterness Revival *Additional questions were added to RFS to measure these functions Table 2. How Often Do They Reminisce With Healthcare Providers? Frequency Reminiscence With Staff Occurs Desired Frequency Never48%Less than now 4% Rarely44%Same as now74% Occasionally 4%More than now22% Frequently 4% Very Frequently 0% Table 4. Correlations Between RFS and Measures of Well Being FunctionDepression (GDS)Morale (PCGMS) rpr p Intimacy Teaching Understanding the Present marg marg Conversation Identity Meaning & Sense Making*.41.05* * Boredom Reduction.41.04* marg Emotion Regulation* * Problem Solving Death Preparation * Bitterness Revival marg marg Key findings: Nursing home residents reported maintaining intimacy, nurturing social bonds, and teaching others as predominant reasons for reminiscing with others. They tended not to engage in reminiscence to prepare for death, solve problems, or review negative elements of their past. This appears to be a healthy adaptation to their environment. Key findings: Residents engaged in reminiscence to serve multiple purposes (e.g., emotion regulation, making sense of the present, and reducing boredom) in relation to their levels of depression and general morale. Key findings: Nursing home residents think about their past relatively often, but only occasionally have opportunities to share this with others Figure 1a How often do you think back over your life? Figure 1b How often do you talk to others about what has happened in your life? Key findings: Residents generally reminisced alone, although they were more likely to engage in reminiscence with family than with other residents. Talking about their personal past with health care providers was rare, though some residents reported a desire to do so more often. Increasing such opportunities might benefit the social connections and improve the quality of care.


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