It was created within Day Care Center, as an alternative or complement to institutional care.
Reminiscences Center (RC) is designed for people with memory impairment (dementia) light and mild form (early stage).
Project was started in 2003, in partnership with Agora Association from Bucharest under the name “Now we talk about the past” and received European funding.
RC activities were organized by a team of professionals consisting of psychologists, social workers, doctors, actors, teachers of dance and drawing. The activities were based on the reminiscence stimulation technique.
Reminiscence stimulation technique is a guided process of updating and re-evaluation of the memories, through that is developed a sense of safety, self-identity, of belonging to the group, of personal worth.
In order to facilitate the update of the memory, we use some stimuli that act as triggers, such as:
– Objects – photographs, youth diaries, letters;
– Smells and flavors of herbs, flowers, food, perfumes;
– Materials: silk, cotton, velvet, wool, paper, cardboard;
– Food or drink;
– Sounds – especially the old songs.
In reminiscence sessions, people with memory disorders are trained to use their capacities and to coordinate motility through activities such as: drawing, painting, modeling, dancing, cooking, writing, sewing.
In 2004-2005, in the Reminiscence Centre, we started the Reminiscences International Network Project: “Memories Matter”, along with six other European countries (Finland, Spain, England, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany).
In this project has been made 100 boxes of elderly participants memories from seven European countries, of which 20 cases were performed by FEC Cluj. During 2005, these boxes have toured Europe, being exhibited in art galleries or museums in Barcelona (Spain), London (England), Kotka (Finland), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Prague (Czech Republic), Poznan (Poland) and Kassel (Germany).
In Cluj-Napoca, those 100 boxes were exhibited in University Arts Galleries on 14-18 April 2005. The festive opening of the exhibition, the group from Reminiscences Center – FEC presented a solemn artistic program, each person presenting the most significant moments of life related to the personal box history.
During the project “Memories Matter” an album was edited and prepared by Pam Schweitzer and Angelika Trilling, project coordinators (see Photo Gallery).
Because of the lack of budget, between 2006-2010, RC’s activities in the FEC were discontinued.
Since 2011, at the initiative of the social worker with the help of FEC and student volunteers, we restarted activities in the Reminiscence Center. We offered these services voluntarily.
The practitioner students and our volunteers have helped us greatly in achieving various activities, designed to preserve or improve certain skills of the beneficiaries, as follows:
- occupational therapy (sewing, crocheting, singing, reciting poetry, theater plays, painting, origami);
- counseling caregivers regarding the methods to overcome the critical stages;
- sharing experiences with others in similar situations.