European Reminisence Network

About the RTRT project

“Remembering Yesterday, Caring Today: reminiscence in dementia care”The 11 partners in the Remembering Together partnership have each set up two reminisence groups. These groups have met weekly during the project, and all have followed a similar programme of creative reminiscence, using as a starting point the book “Remembering Yesterday, Caring Today: reminiscence in dementia care”, published 2008 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. For further details about the book and ordering information: click here.

The groups have taken a different topic each week, starting with early memories of childhood and home and working through the life course. Each topic has been explored through a range of creative reminiscence activities including non-verbal approaches.

All groups have worked with practicing artists from fields of drama, music, dance, visual arts and film. They have all created end-products based on their reminiscence work and these products (and in some cases records of the working process) can be seen on the individual country pages of this website. The overall statistics showing the number of people involved in these projects can be viewed at the end of this page.

International meetings

International meeting - Kotka in Finland (April 2011)

The partners have held 4 meetings over the two years of the project:

  • Belfast in Northern Ireland, UK (September 2010)
  • Kotka in Finland (April 2011) - see image above
  • Barcelona in Spain (November 2011)
  • Kassel in Germany (June 2012)

Between 40 and 60 delegates from the 11-country partnership have attended these meetings and reported on their progress, sharing ideas and gaining mutual support. Those attending the international meetings have included staff and volunteers of partner organizations, representatives from other organizations who have been involved in delivering the project in each country, and family members who have participated. All meetings have included a social and cultural programme for participants, enabling us to get to know one another and share experience. The image below shows a reminiscence session for project partners from diff countries at the Barcelona meeting:

Barcelona

At the first meeting a 2-day training course ensured that we were all delivering roughly the same project with the same aims and objectives. In the second and third meetings we shared progress and discussed any local difficulties in the broader context of the partnership. At the final meeting in Kassel we are sharing the artistic products created with the people with dementia and their family carers, and these appear also on the page of every country represented in this website.

Overall Project Statistics

The RTRT Partnership Project across Europe has impacted on a large number of people with dementia and their family carers. It has also trained a great many staff and volunteers, both through the reminiscence sessions and through additional training courses offered by partners in their own countries.

The overall statistics we have collected are as follows:

Number of reminiscence arts sessions 256

Number of families attending sessions 226

Number of workers involved in delivering sessions 73

Number of volunteers involved in supporting sessions 82

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Remembering Yesterday, Caring Today

The RYCT project has been run approximately 50 times in the UK and a further 50 times in other EU countries which are part of our international partnership. During these years, the project has been the subject of several research studies, in which it has been found (variously) to improve autobiographical memory, reduce carer stress and depression and build self-esteem and social integration and develop creativity of expression.

The responses of participating families have been overwhelmingly positive, so that many groups have continued to meet over periods of a year and sometimes considerably longer.

Plans for the future

The European Reminiscence Network hopes to continue the current partnership and is currently seeking funding to do so.

Almost all the partners in the RTRT project would like to develop the work they have been delivering over the last two years, and to extend even further the ERN reminiscence in dementia care project which began in 1997.

Lottery funded

Co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union

Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.