John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement

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Remembering for the benefit of aging Volume 11, issue 1, Mars 2013

Author
Centre de recherche, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Québec, Canada ; Département de psychologie, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada

Memory is most often negatively associated with aging. This perception partially arises from the research literature as well as from subjective complaints by older adults, which have mainly focused on performance levels. More recently, however, there is a growing number of researchers and clinicians interested in the role of reminiscing in older adults. The goal of this synthesis is to introduce the reader to the different functions of reminiscence and their adaptive values in aging. Three narrative methods based on personal memories are presented (life review, reminiscence therapy guided autobiography) in the context of current theories of memory and developmental psychology. A brief review of empirical data regarding the efficiency of narrative methods in the well being of healthy older adults and individuals with dementia is presented.