Reminiscing is a great activity to engage and connect with residents because long-term memories can be easier to access. While often used as a group activity, you can reminisce in smaller bites, in brief moments with individual residents. Every staff member, even non-direct care, can reminisce with residents with this simple recipe.
Three Ingredients for Reminiscing
- Ingredient #1 - Leadership Investment: Directors, managers, supervisors and the Admin team work together to communicate the expectation that all staff take some time to know the residents. This ingredient reinforces that building connections is a part of the work day.
- Take your morning stand up to the next level and share information about new residents.
- Use and share the social history or interest survey completed at admission, then disseminate it to floor staff
- Create a “First-day” report for each new admission and ask floor staff to share their interactions and report to managers who bring it to a morning meeting
- Ingredient #2 – Resources: Give staff reminiscing resources to stimulate connections. Share knowledge about the resident to spark a conversation then mix in Flashback Cards, Compassionate Touch protocols, or Reading2Connect books;
Add your own spice
- Equip the nursing stations, med carts, dining, and family rooms with Flashback Cards and encourage staff to carry a few to use in the 'brief moments' such as taking a resident to therapy or prior to serving dinner.
- Have a basket with Flashback Cards at reception for visitors to use during their visit.
- Give staff a script: Encourage them to share with each other interesting facts they learned about residents. Start an "I just learned about" campaign: "I just learned that our new resident Grace regularly visited New York to attend Broadway shows."
- Ingredient #3 – Reinforcement: Celebrate reminiscing success by having staff share stories with each other, and publicly thank the staff for making the time to reminisce and share.
Bake and Enjoy!
- Encourage leadership to be seen reminiscing with residents and utilizing the Flashback Cards.
- Build on the "I just learned about" campaign and create a rewards/recognition program for participating employees.
Reminiscing- Win/Win for Residents and Staff
Reminiscing is a fast, easy and fun way to bring staff and residents closer - and it’s a win-win activity. Residents engage and staff connects. Reminiscing helps residents feel honored and respected and advances person-centered care. Staff motivation increases when they feel like they are making a real difference in the lives of those in their care.
Tips for Using Flashback
- In the dining room before meals are served.
- As a resource for your family members to engage with their loved ones.
- As a resource for volunteers.
- With the cards splayed on a table, organize a small self-directed group of residents and let them dive in!
- In the admissions conference room as an ice breaker.