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Reminiscence involves the discussion of activities, experiences and events from the past and should ideally provide multi–sensory stimulation for persons living with dementia.

Apart from reminiscence therapy, persons living with dementia and their family members can participate in or create activities that incorporate elements of reminiscence. These can include looking through old photos, listening to old music or taking part in more tactile activities such as arts and crafts or painting to evoke positive memories from the past.

The following are a list of some local reminiscence-based activities and resources that persons living with dementia and their families can participate in.

Museum and Heritage Activities

Museums feature materials, such as pieces of art or historical objects, that could prompt conversations about the pasts of persons living with dementia and their family members or caregivers. Persons living with dementia could, independently or with the assistance of others, visit museums or participate in museum-organised activities that incorporate reminiscence elements.
Heritage-related activities are also opportunities for persons living with dementia to interact with objects or environments that prompt conversations about the past.
Heritage trails, such as those to the last kampong in Singapore, Kampong Lorong Buangkok, or visits to historically significant places, can be explored by persons living with dementia with the support of their caregivers, at their own time and pace.

Oral History and Heritage Projects

The oral history movement, which involves using living persons as primary sources for the construction of historical knowledge, uses an interview method that bears similarities to conversations that persons could have while engaging in reminiscence activities. This movement has been developing in places across the world¹, including Singapore.
Heritage projects with oral history components present opportunities for persons living with dementia to reminiscence about their lives and the past as they experienced it, while contributing to a repository of knowledge about a community’s history.

Past oral history projects in Singapore can be found at this page by the National Archives of Singapore.

“Oral History and Archives in Reminiscence Work”: A 2019 talk by Irene Lim, Principal Archivist and Patricia Lee, Senior Oral History Specialist at the National Archives of Singapore, about how narratives and archival materials, such as photographs, documents and sound archives are used to improve the well-being of Singapore’s silver community, including persons living with dementia.

Digital Reminiscence-Based Activities

House of Memories

House of Memories is a dementia awareness programme by National Museums Liverpool, which offers training, access to resources and museum-based activities. This programme aims to enable caregivers to provide person-centred care for people to live well with dementia.

The app includes everyday items from Singapore’s National Collection that are presented together with sounds, descriptions, and images corresponding to these items.

It also enables users to create their own personal albums by adding photos to the app. This capability allows persons living with dementia, caregivers, and care professionals to customise reminiscence materials for individuals.

The app has been localised and is accessible via the Singapore National Heritage Board’s website, and can also be downloaded free-of-charge from the Google Play and Apple app stores.

VintageRadio.SG

VintageRadio.SG is a free digital service that curates content for seniors. It includes a radio channel, live audio programmes run by DJs, podcasts, and a blog.

VintageRadio.SG is accessible via their website and via apps that can be downloaded from the Google Play, Apple, and Huawei app stores.

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  1. Ritchie, D. A. (Ed.). (2012). The Oxford handbook of oral history. Oxford University Press.

Was this article helpful?

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Your feedback will really help us to improve our content to support those living with dementia.

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Downloadable Resources

The following resources contain bite-sized information on The ABCDs of Dementia Progression that you may download and/ or print: 
Click on the images below to download in English.

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