Reminiscence Therapy coming to Calder Woods

Reminiscence Therapy coming to Calder Woods

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) has selected Calder Woods for a new Reminiscence Therapy program designed to help residents with dementia.

Reminiscence Therapy uses tangible prompts, such as tactile objects, recordings and familiar items, to stimulate discussion of past activities and experiences, according to the DADS website.

Calder Woods is one of 50 facilities DADS chose to be a part of the program with an additional 50 to be added in 2016.

Discussions that prompt memories of life and past experiences can improve well-being and reduce the reliance on antipsychotic medications to manage the behavioral symptoms often associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to DADS.

Each participating facility will receive six different Memorable Moments bags containing up to 10 items that relate to a specific theme. These bags are intended to tap into the resident’s senses and offer a topic to unlock memories the individual may have of, for example, the beach, a garden or baseball. These memories can trigger a dialogue that may assist families and caregivers with meaningful communication with the resident.

“The new program is part of a study to limit the use of antipsychotic medications for qualified residents,” said Michael Cummings, healthcare administrator at Calder Woods. “The therapy program helps trigger old memories for residents, helping them fondly remember things from their past, including favorite things about their families and pastimes.”

The initial study will include a sampling of 20 residents living in Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and The Harbor, Calder Woods’ certified Alzheimer’s and Memory Care area.

“The area most affected will be The Harbor where we are in the process of adding a Sensory Room where the Reminiscence Therapy and other activities will take place,” Cummings said.

The program engages residents by using different “Memorable Moments” to help bring old memories back. Each bag contains items that pertain to different areas of interest such as summertime, patriotism, American history and sports.

“As residents pull items from the bag, it will help trigger a memory and then our staff and their families will be able to have more meaningful conversations with them,” Cummings said.

DADS is using existing Civil Monetary Penalty funds to certify nursing homes to participate in the program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has approved the pilot.

Participating facilities agree to:

• Actively engage in the pilot

• Participate in a six-month study

• Provide data to DADS as requested for the study

• Expand the program, using Reminiscence Therapy with as many people as possible

• Participate in 3-5 mandatory webinars

• Agree to photo and facility name releases

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