This multi-purpose board game has been designed to aid reminiscing, individuals getting to know each, facilitating the sharing of experiences and for people writing their life histories.
It can be played by 2-8 people, independently or supported by staff. The cards can also be used on their own or as an additional tool to the book ‘Writing Life Histories’ (see below) to inspire people writing their life stories. Benefits from using it include:
- Helping to preserve memory
- Maintaining a sense of identity
- Integrating the past and present
- Assisting with reminiscing and the life review process
- Promoting a sense of pride that people have done their best in life
- Providing opportunities for socialising and making friends
- Promoting understanding of behaviour and outlook on life
- Sharing life accomplishments that promote respect
- Providing references for conversations with cognitively impaired individuals.
This non-competitive, fun activity will become a well used tool to benefit both residents and staff in day centres, residential homes, hospitals, activity clubs, or people being card for at home and their carers.
The game makes the activity fun to do and something in which everyone can participate and enjoy. There are numerous ways in which the cards supplied with the game can be used, including for drawing, writing and recording material for producing life histories. Instructions are included.
A book – Writing Life Histories – which looks at the different types of life histories and how to compile them is also available. The book provides activities, strategies and material for prompting memories and also discusses ethical issues. Writing Life Histories provides ideas for stimulating creative projects, aides to memory, an enjoyable hobby and a record of the person’s life for children and grandchildren.
Not just memories – a way to promote well-being
Reminiscing, the recollection of past memories, is something that we all use in our lives. We use it to cope in times of stress such as when mourning someone and to repair damage to our self-esteem and image. Conversations usually begin with something like ‘Do you remember when we …’
It is fun and creates a feeling of shared experience, reinforces our sense of self-importance and feelings of self-worth. We derive a feeling of belonging and togetherness. It also helps us put our present situation into context.
The use of reminiscence for these purposes with older people and those in the early to moderate stages of dementia is well established. Other benefits include:
- Providing opportunities to socialise, make friends and take part in an enjoyable activity
- Enabling carers to find out more about the individual’s past, their interests and to see them as a person and not just someone who is growing older and has to be cared for. It also enables carers to understand each individual’s outlook on life and support them in an appropriate way.
- Sharing life accomplishments which promotes respect, maintains self-esteem and a positive self-concept
- Integrating the past with the present
- Assisting with the life review process
- Providing information for conversations with cognitively impaired individuals
It is important that the materials you use for reminiscing has flexibility to meet personal needs and can be used on a one-to-one basis, by residents to play with each other, in groups and by carers and family members when visiting or at home. Being adaptable for use in a variety of environments and for different purposes ensures maximum use of the materials and value for money.