Reminiscence therapy for older service users
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Reminiscence therapy for older service users

Kerstin Stueber Higher trainee in psychiatry of learning disabilities, Camden Learning Disabilities Service, London
Angela Hassiotis Reader and consultant psychiatrist, University College London

Kerstin Stueber and Angela Hassiotis examine the evidence for reminiscence therapy and suggest it may be appropriate for people with learning disabilities

There is an increased focus on non-pharmacological approaches for the management of dementia in the general population. Reminiscence therapy, mainly in groups, has been used on its own, or with other forms of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions, to promote prosocial and cognitive improvements in older people with dementia and wellbeing in their family carers. However there are only a small number of studies on the use of reminiscence therapy in older service users with a learning disability without dementia, and none on its impact on those with cognitive decline. As the life expectancy of people with a learning disability increases, the number of older people with learning disabilities and dementia may rise too. In addition, services for older people have increased vulnerability to pharmacological interventions, and there are challenges in the use of pharmacological therapy in individuals with learning disabilities. This article reports on what is known about reminiscence therapy and its applications in the field of learning disability.

Learning Disability Practice. 15, 2,12-16. doi: 10.7748/ldp2012.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

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