Whenever I hear of a way to help with the problems associated with Alzheimer’s or memory loss, I’m all over it.
But funny enough, when I read the article from Vivid-Pix about reminiscing therapy, I was happy that this was something I was already doing, and I know many of you are as well.
Working with my photos and doing genealogy for that matter are both forms of Reminiscing Therapy.
The National Institutes of Health states that “Reminiscence Therapy (RT) involves the discussion of past activities, events, and experiences with another person or group of people.” So as we gather the photos and facts of our ancestor’s lives and then share all that information with our family, we are actually all engaged in our own form of reminiscing therapy.
So here are a couple of ideas I thought of as to how you can help yourself and help your friends and family. Let’s talk about the photos first.
I always tell people a byproduct of doing genealogy is photos. You either have your own collection, or you’ve inherited some from family, and as you meet new cousins, through genealogy or DNA, you trade photos (at least that’s something I always ask about when I meet a new cousin.)
I also know that some of you have photos, and some of you are organizing those photos while you’re staying home and staying healthy. When we talk about photo organizing, we say it’s not a good idea to get caught up in the photos because we’re supposed to stay focused on the task at hand. We follow the three-second rule and only look at the photo for three seconds.
But I will admit that there are times that I scan some photos and upload them to FOREVER, and then I just post them to Facebook or Instagram.
You can’t imagine the dialog that comes about from doing that because you see, I have cousins and some friends, and we all grew up together. So some photos become a big conversation when I share a photo from my FOREVER account.
So that’s that therapy again; studying the faces, looking at what activities people are doing, and where they might be in the photo, just remembering.
Now let’s talk about genealogy.
If your not doing genealogy, then that’s the first step. Try a free trial at any one of the three major genealogy sites.
For me, genealogy is like a big puzzle. Genealogy is learning facts. It’s also understanding how families are connected to each other and how each fits into the puzzle.
If you have a mystery or two in your family, it can also be like being a detective and trying to figure out where you can go to find the documents to break down that brick wall or prove a theory you might have. It may even require DNA, and that’s a whole new puzzle to work through.
All those activities keep your brain working because, to me, your brain is just like a muscle; if you work it, it works better.
Once you start learning about your family, you probably will get excited, or maybe you already are passionate about the information you find, so you’ll want to tell family and friends about what you’ve discovered.
So you might want to start a Facebook group where you can invite people to join and where you can share what you’ve found, and they can share too. Or perhaps you’d like to write a blog about what you’ve found. You can start a free blog on WordPress or Blogger. (there’s a bit of a learning curve but hey … you’re working that brain again).
What about having a Zoom meeting with your cousins so you can keep them up to date on what you’ve found? During my isolation time, I’ve had a Happy Hour Zoom event with a few family and friends. So you could do something like that.
Tell your children and grandchildren about your life and the life of your parents or grandparents. I know that as I grew up, my father kept us entertained with stories from his childhood, and that’s probably part of why I’m interested in family history. It may also have been why his mind was always so sharp right up until he passed away on April 1st, 2020.
So the next time you’re telling someone about your genealogy or photos, don’t be embarrassed, you’re actually helping them and healing yourself.
Note: The post above contains affiliate links. This means I make a small percentage of the sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. This is a supplement to my income so I can continue to support The DNA Angel Project and to make donations to the Alzheimer’s’ Society