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The Significance of Reminiscence Essay

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Updated: Apr 14th, 2022

Nursing Services for the Elderly

Taking care of elderly people is different from providing nursing services to the younger demographics not only in the type of medicine and diet but also in the factors that contribute to the patients’ faster recovery. With the elderly, the incorporation of reminiscences into the therapy is crucial for retrieving positive outcomes. My personal experience on the subject matter involved helping a 65-year-old man fight his depression. After the death of his wife, he started feeling incapable of enjoying life as he used to and, thus, developed the above-mentioned disorder. While the intervention designed by the therapist involved introducing new activities into the patient’s life so that the loss could be made less heavy, it was the focus on the happy memories related to his wife that made the progress possible. The patient’s realization that he needed to focus on the happy memories instead of the pain of his loss was the key to recovery. Despite being admittedly long, the therapy sessions did have their effect on the wellbeing of the patient.

Nursing Services for Patients of a Different Background

Catering to the needs of the patients, who have little to no points of contact with the therapist in terms of culture, age, social background, etc., can barely lead to any tangible results in the observable future. Therefore, it is essential for a therapist to acquire background information on the patient prior to designing and carrying out an intervention. Personally, I have experienced communication with a patient, whose background was strikingly different from mine. To be more specific, I used to provide nursing services to some Philippine women. While there was technically no misunderstanding between us, the attitude, that the patient displayed towards the services provided by the local nursing facilities, was rather specific. The woman assumed that traditional medicine is the only adequate manner of handling a disease or a disorder. As a result, she often refused from taking the medicine that as prescribed to her, substituting it with the corresponding type of traditional medicine. It took quite a while to raise her awareness concerning taking the prescribed medicine and following the therapist’s instructions.

Video: Thoughts and Feelings

The video has brought some mixed feelings. The emphasis that the poem puts on emotions and their significance is clearly an important message for a therapist. However, this begs the question of whether triggering positive emotional responses in the patients can be carried out successfully by the therapist alone or whether the involvement of family members is required, as the latter have better opportunities for helping elderly patients recall their youth.

However, it is the experience of positive – and, sometimes, negative – emotions that make the process of reminiscence most valuable for elderly people. The lack of emotional challenges becomes a part and parcel of their lives as time passes by, therefore, triggering the need to brighten their somewhat humdrum life. As a result, memories become a treasure trove of emotional experiences for elderly people: “I remember the joys, I remember the pain. /And I’m loving and living life over again” (McCormack, 1960, 00:02:58–00:03:06). Therefore, it can be suggested that emotional experiences should become a part of therapy for elderly people (Sprangers et al., 2010). Thus, the emotional wellbeing of the latter will remain at the required level and the emotional intelligence of the patient can be retained (Karimi et al., 2013).


Karimi, L., Leggat, S. G., Donohue, L., Farrell, G. & Couper, G. E. (2013). Emotional rescue: the role of emotional intelligence and emotional labour on well-being and job-stress among community nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(1), 176–186.

McCormack, P. (1960). Cranky old man. YouTube. Web.

Sprangers, M. A. G., Bartels, M., Veenhoven, R., Baas, F., Martin, N. G., Mosing, R.,… & Swaab, D. (2010). Which patient will feel down, which will be happy? The need to study the genetic disposition of emotional states. Quality of Life Research, 19(10), 1429–1437.

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