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Ashley Font Activity Portfolio #8

Facilitation Technique Category: Therapeutic Reminiscence


Activity Title: Pop and Reminisce
Source: Retrieved From TR Therapeutic Recreation Directory,
http://www.recreationtherapy.com/tx/txrem.htm
Equipment: Balloons in a variety of colors, Scissors or pins, Paper and pencil
Activity Description: Therapeutic reminiscence is used to help individuals recall past events by
using props or sensory cues. Therapeutic reminiscence is extremely effective for elderly patients
with common disorders such as, depression, cognitive impairments, and chronic conditions. The
purpose of this activity is to improve socialization, reminiscing and interaction amongst the
participants. First, place one slip into each balloon. The slips will consist of questions/statements
that will help the participants reminisce. Examples of the questions/statements include, Who
taught you how to drive, Tell us about your first date, What was your first job, Tell us
about your favorite hobbies as a child, Describe the house you grew up in. Instruct the
participants to sit in a circle, with balloons on the floor in the middle, going counterclockwise,
each participant will choose a colored balloon of their liking, they could pop the balloon if they
wish or have the staff do it for them. The statement/question is to be answered by each
participant in the circle. This is repeated until all participants have taken a turn to choose a
balloon. Finish the session by reviewing and discussing the benefits of reminiscing and the
difficulties of the activity.
Leadership Considerations: CTRS functions as the instructor for this activity. Depending on
the ability of the participants, the staff to participants ratio should be 1:4. Before starting the
activity, therapist must conduct an introduction to warm-up participants to the activity and
review topics on safety and respect. The therapist and staff must know participants abilities and
disabilities to minimize risks and recognize emergencies. All instructions are to be explained
thoroughly and discussed as needed for participants. It is highly suggested therapist speaks
clearly and slowly, and refrain from using a condescending tone. During the activity staff should
pop the balloon if the participant does not feel comfortable. Do not let participants with poor fine
motor skills handle the scissors or pin.
Adaptations:
Participants with Dementia: Dementia is identified by memory loss that limits functioning and
challenges cognition (Dattilo & McKenney, 2016). To ensure a successful reminiscing session a
predetermined topic is helpful for those individuals with dementia (Dattilo & McKenney, 2016).
Having a predetermined topic can help remind the participant in advance and give time to
organize their thoughts, for example, Since your anniversary with Sarah is coming up, why
dont you tell me about you first date with her. (Dattilo & McKenney, 2016) When the
participant is having a hard time putting together sentences or finding words, it is recommended

Ashley Font Activity Portfolio #8

the therapist help the individual. It is important the individual is in a comfortable setting. Oneon-One sessions are recommended for those individuals with dementia to reduce distractions that
can lead to forgetfulness (Dattilo & McKenney, 2016).
Participants with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: COPD makes it hard to breathe
for an individual due to damage of the lungs and airways (What causes COPD? - NHLBI,
NIH, 2014). Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest tightness. COPD also causes fear,
anxiety, depression and stress. Therapeutic Reminiscence improves individuals with COPDs
self-esteem, enhances mood, and promotes communication skills (Inc, 2016). To ensure a
successful activity, those individuals with COPD who may have trouble talking due to shortness
of breath (What causes COPD? - NHLBI, NIH, 2014), could use other alternatives to answer
the questions/statements. For example, writing down their answer on a sheet of paper or drawing
their feelings and emotions and saying short sentences where a therapist could help them try to
describe it more in depth. Other modifications are that activities are to be done slowly, balloons
could be handed to each participant with COPD to limit their physical energy, and loose clothing
is highly recommended (What causes COPD? - NHLBI, NIH, 2014).
Adaptation References:
Dattilo, J., & McKenney, A. (2016). Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation (3rd ed.).
Venture
What causes COPD? - NHLBI, NIH. (2014, May 22). Retrieved October 28, 2016, from
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/causes
Inc, F. M. C. (2016). MDedge. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.copdhub.com/single-article/baseball-reminiscence-therapy-for-cognitively-impairedveterans/d67aba1eab7c1be0220315128559b1b9.html