Remembering in Later Life: Some Reflections on Generating Individual and Social Change Cover Image
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Припомнянето в заника на живота: някои рефлексии върху индивидуалната и социалната промяна
Remembering in Later Life: Some Reflections on Generating Individual and Social Change

Author(s): Joanna Bornat
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Sociology, Health and medicine and law, Gerontology
Published by: Институт за изследвания на обществата и знанието при БАН
Keywords: reminiscence-based activities; oral history; recall; late life remembering; life review; dementia; care relationships

Summary/Abstract: Reminiscence-based activities developed as a practical intervention in care relationships with older people during the early 1980s in the UK and USA. Core to these was the acknowledgement that remembering the past and events in individual past lives could be a rewarding and enhancing experience for older people. Developments drew on the observations of the psychogeriatrician Robert Butler and a commitment to dealing with issues relating to the quality of life of frail older people. Using an example from the UK, this chapter considers what, at the time, emerged as a movement committed to legitimising reflection on the past, where previously this had been considered symptomatic of mental decline. It was argued that to encourage older people to talk about the past would improve cognitive states, prevent negative feelings, combat isolation and enhance feelings of self-worth. Since the 1980s successive decades have seen the re-discovery of reminiscence as a positive intervention in the lives of older people with a focus on dementia being the current emphasis. In this chapter I argue, with support from research into reminiscence-based activities, that participation should be understood as being less about modifying aspects of the ageing process and more about the humanising of social care relationships, within families, communities and in care settings, through the recognition and celebration of individuality and life experience in old age.

  • Issue Year: 51/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 7-25
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Bulgarian