It is vital that nurses understand the concept of reminiscence

It is vital that nurses understand the concept of reminiscence, its meaning, and its defining attributes. Illuminating the concept of reminiscence as it relates to caring for patients with mild dementia will allow for further concept development in practice and research. A concept analysis is recommended to further gather information about the phenomenon, with the goal of developing nursing interventions tailored to the unique needs of patients with mild dementia. Thus, the promotion and maintenance of these patients’ health can occur, as well as decreasing deterioration of their health status. Nurses are at the forefront of implementing interventions to maintain the mental and physical health of patients with dementia. All care providers need an accurate understanding of reminiscence to assure that no person caring for a nursing home resident approaches reminiscence as a commonplace, or mundane activity, but as a highly significant event with potentially grave and deleterious implications. This recognition should lead to increased awareness of the importance of addressing psychological needs with the same emphasis and vigor as is required in addressing physical needs. Patients in the earlier stages of dementia may be able to benefit from principles of reminiscence therapy due to the fact that their remote memory remains intact (Kim, Hayward, ; Reed, 2014). Specifically, nurses can identify positive past achievements and experiences to help the individual reminisce, develop a positive recall, and achieve a sense of peace with their status (Kapucu, 2017). Nurses practicing reminiscence interventions for persons with mild dementia can affirm their patients through activities such as storytelling, journaling, interviewing family members, and reviewing old photographs. These activities can also be more active or sensory in nature, including watching old movies, listening to songs, looking at family pictures, caring for plants, enjoying pet visits, and making presents (McCarthy, Ling, ; Carini, 2103). Analyzing and synthesizing the research findings for reminiscence is an ongoing need. Nursing scholars need to further studies on reminiscence by quantitative and qualitative approaches since reminiscence is widely utilized as a therapeutic intervention in gerontological aspects in order to foster positive physical and psychological well-being among a wide range of patients with mild dementia.
The aim of this analysis was to illuminate on the relevant attributes of reminiscence and explore the feasibility of adopting reminiscence as a nursing intervention in the context of mild dementia care. Concept analysis helps in clarifying ambiguities in overused or unexplored concepts, in order to obtain an operational definition which encompasses defining attributes, antecedents, consequences, and empirical referents. Thus, this analysis allows for defining the concept of reminiscence as the set of future desires or plans necessary actions to meet the proposed goals of this analysis. Reminiscence has been identified as a considerable contributor to the adaptation of patients with dementia by gerontologists (e.g. Butler), development theorists (e.g. Erikson), and clinical practitioners (e.g. Haight). Reminiscence has variant functions for different persons and contexts, and consequently could be a noticeable predictor of people’s ability to cope. It is commonly used as a therapeutic tool and is particularly useful for people with mild dementia (Thorgrimsen, Schweitzer, & Orrell, 2002). Reminiscence in dementia is an important concept to define, as research indicates that reminiscence could improve outcomes for people with dementia and their caregivers (Woods et al., 2005). One factor of its popularity is that it works with early memories, which remain relatively intact for people with dementia (Basso, Bruce, & de Hamsher, 2003). Reminiscence allows one’s past thoughts to be catalyzed and gives a sense of continuity to the remem­bered life. Reviewing our lives and telling our stories renders us with a sense of contentment with life and truly links our past to the present and one generation to another. Reminiscence typically involves the discussion of past activities, events, and experiences, aided by a range of memory triggers. According to Thorgrimsen et al. (2002), reminiscence is a bridge between the past and the present and may be a strategy that makes it possible for older adults to achieve ego integrity. Another researcher, Parker (1995) observed reminiscence as a selective process in which past experiences are provoked and reconstructed with a certain degree of involvement and emotions. In mild dementia care, reminiscence as an activity can provide a necessary stimulus and means of increasing social interaction and self-worth, improving communication, enhancing cognitive functioning, and fostering a sense of achievement. Thus, these outcomes positively reflect the enhancement of the person’s quality of life, behavior, and mood. Reminiscence is now viewed as an adaptive, healthy function and a vital part of the aging process. This analysis of reminiscence as a concept can be utilized and developed into professional nursing practice pertaining to the dementia care context. In clinical practice, it is common for nurses to work in the care of patients with mild dementia and as professionals, it is important to encourage the construction of reminiscence sessions due to the implications this they have on the decisions and actions of daily life. This analysis explains the meaning and importance of the analysis of the reminiscence concept and also gives nurses the necessary step for the construction thereof, through which it could guide the construction of the reminiscence of any person with mild dementia. While there is no consistent definition of reminiscence in the literature, there is a consensus relating to the components of the process (Dempsey et al., 2014). It can generally be described as the recall of personal memories (Westerhof et al., 2010; Hallford & Mellor, 2013; Haslam et al., 2010; Cappeliez & O’Rourke, 2006; Cappeliez, Rivard, ; Guindon, 2007). Although reminiscence is a beneficial and potentially therapeutic activity for all ages, there is a need for more longitudinal studies and further controlled clinical trials to test the efficacy of reminiscence in dementia care (Cappeliez, Guindon ; Robitaille, 2008; Pinquart ; Forstmeier, 2012, Woods, Spector, Jones, Orrell ; Davies, 2005).