City Memories: Reminiscence as creative therapy

Chris Joyce (School of Arts and Humanities, University of Surrey)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Publication date: 1 December 2005


This paper describes and evaluates a recent innovative project in Liverpool that brought together the skills and creative vision of a major national museums group in partnership with the housing action trust. ‘City Memories’ created opportunities for older people to take part in reminiscence activities at the museums and in a large extra care housing setting in the community. Training was provided for community leaders, care home managers and care workers in order to help them apply some of the ideas in their own work. The project looked at outcomes for older people who participated in terms of increased stimulus and sense of well‐being, with a special focus on those with conditions such as stroke and dementia. It is hoped that such work will inspire others to put therapeutic reminiscence into practice in their own settings and circumstances; and that it may be possible at some stage to conduct a more systematic study to test the benefits of this approach in relation to measurable health gain.



Joyce, C. (2005), "City Memories: Reminiscence as creative therapy", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 34-41.

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