The Alzheimer's Disease Bookstore


Uncovering a Lifetime of Memories

by Carmel Sheridan

Reminiscing is one of the most powerful healing activities for people affected by Alzheimer's disease. Through reviewing their memories, people with Alzheimer's can see their contributions to life and experience positive feelings about themselves. This in turn promotes mental and emotional well being. The effects are profound for those people who are at a time in their lives when they feel most vulnerable and isolated.

Now families, friends and volunteers-anyone who comes in repeated contact with the person affected by Alzheimer's can develop reminiscing skills. This new book explains the simple techniques involved in stimulating memories. It describes themes to explore, shows how to use memory makers and outlines hundreds of meaningful activities involving reminiscence.

Reminiscence: Uncovering A Lifetime of Memories looks at the purpose and techniques of remembering bygone events for the happiness and contentment which such memories may bring. The emphasis is on comfort and enjoyment rather than on any measurable goals.

The book is divided into three main sections which are equally important.

The first section discusses themes dealing with reminiscence, and includes the rationale for the use of reminiscence with the elderly, as well as a list of the benefits which may be achieved through reminiscing. The author suggest 13 different themes appropriate for stimulating long-term memory. These include such diverse topics as fashion, friends, work life, old remedies and superstitions. Each topic includes a good list of questions which may be used to help encourage and cue elderly people in the process of delving into their own memory bank. This section also describes 'memory joggers' or tools which can be used to stimulate memories. Multisensory materials such as articles with different textures, shapes or aromas are also discussed.

The second section describes activities which may be used to stimulate memories. These include arts and crafts, games, music, reading and the theatre. By far the most outstanding of these are the sections dealing with life history. Life histories may be produced as written, pictorial or auditory projects, and steps for completing each of these are clearly presented. A particularly endearing portion of the section dealing with activities includes Reminiscing with Recipes. Favorite recipes are included such as vanilla ice cream, buttermilk pancakes and soda bread.

The third section contains a particularly rich Appendix. It contains lists of sources from which relevant material may be obtained on all kinds of products dealing with long-term recall.


"Life experiences are like precious keepsakes that we store away in our memories and later bring to mind throughout our lives. Carmel Sheridan's practical, user-friendly book shows how reminiscence can be used as an activity to strengthen the ability to remember". -- Parent Care, '92

"Excellent examples and guidelines, a particularly rich appendix and an outstanding section dealing with life history." -- Ruth McCrum, Ph.D., JD,OTR,FAOTA, Advance for Occupational Therapists, '92

"A useful guide for anyone who has contact with older adults-family, friends, clergy, volunteers, social workers and health care workers. Written in user-friendly style, this practical 164-page book is useful in the home or in professional care settings". -- Herald Bulletin '91

You can now order the book listed below directly on the Internet from Lake Solitude Media's Alzheimer's Bookstore in affiliation with Books. Click on the link below.