Reminiscing is sharing our thoughts and feelings of our experiences to recall and reflect upon important events of our life. The ability to remember and think about these times helps older adults recall who they used to be in order to help them define their identity in the current moment. The stories of the past provide us a source of affirmation, hope, and belief that our lives have meaning.

It’s great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later.

George Foreman

During Covid-19 it is particularly important to spend time and reminisce of days past.  Being isolated from our friends and family is difficult and remembering times when we were together in celebration will help us get through this rough time. In addition to improving our self-identity, reminiscing may also protect against depression and loneliness.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Now I am in my eighties, and I have known the joys and sorrows of a full life. Age, however, has its privileges. One is to reminisce, and another is to reminisce selectively.

Rose Kennedy

It has been proven that older adults may benefit from the opportunity to reminisce.  In a study of 47 nursing home residents, a reminiscence group demonstrated improvements in depression and loneliness upon completion of various exercises including sharing memories, life events, family history, and personal accomplishments (Franck, Molyneaux, & Parkinson, 2016). 

I have started to think that the great, decisive moments that broadly govern our lives are far less conscious at the time than they seem later when we are reminiscing and taking stock.

Sándor Márai
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

To keep it interesting, you may want to become creative in sharing memories. Creative ideas may include creating photo albums, scrapbooks, or memory boxes, discussing historical items such as toys or antiques, listening to vocal or instrumental music, and recording oral histories or autobiographies. No matter which creative idea you choose, you are helping your loved ones solidify their current identity.  While they will feel valued and appreciated, you will reap benefits when, in the future, you look back on these precious memories you shared.  

Photo by William Fortunato on

The digital camera is a great invention because it allows us to reminisce. Instantly.

Demetri Martin

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