Grandparents Day this month offered a wonderful opportunity to reminisce for residents at The Peninsula. They gathered together with friends and relatives sharing the national holiday as well as reflecting on the value and importance of grandparents. There was 50’s music and residents especially enjoyed the Ella Fitzgerald tunes. For many, it became an opportunity to recall memories of their own grandparents.
“Our discussion took a different turn. I thought more residents would talk about grand parenting and their grandchildren but they wanted to talk about the wonderful memories they had growing up and their own grandparents,” said Michelle Hertz, resident programming director. “The discussion was so interesting as they shared family history and traditions. Since our residents are about the same age, it was especially insightful as they talked about growing up and the importance their grandparents played in their lives.”
Studies show that reminiscing with another person or in a group can be therapeutic because the process of sharing memories helps individuals achieve a sense of integrity and self-worth. Reminiscing serves several functions for the older person including:
Preserving personal and collective history;
Transcending the material world and physical limitations;
Allowing for identification of universal themes of humanity; and
Reinforcing coping mechanisms.
Opening the door to the past can begin with such questions as: “Tell me about your family” or “Tell me about the work you’ve done during your life.”
Our residents enjoyed this opportunity so much and made Grandparents Day especially important. The event included raffles of gift baskets that were filled with soaps, lotions, candies and Autumn décor.