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The key to an Active Mind

Rosemary’s First Journal Entry

Dear diary,

Yesterday was my 78th birthday.  Alex organized the whole day including the cake.  I bought a lot of extra food in case Alex did not bring enough for everyone, but they all brought food.  There was too much food.  No one would let me do anything.  I used to be the one who threw these parties, but now all the parties are thrown for me.  I wish Bob were here.  He always did nice things for my birthday; usually he would take me to a restaurant.  I miss him so much and I can’t talk about him to anyone, because it makes people uncomfortable when you talk about the deceased.

The key to an active mind is to keep it busy

One way to keep the mind active is to journal life events even if they seem mundane.  Journaling documents daily activities and can be rewarding for people of all ages.  It encourages reflection on the day’s events, and it can provide a method of stress relief by acting as a nonjudgmental counselor.  Journaling can be therapeutic and is a great way to keep the mind active while capturing a life story.  In the event that a senior has memory loss, a journal can act as a reminder of what happened and provide a cherished connection to friends and family.

From my personal experience, my mother has kept a daily journal for her whole adult life.  It is so valuable to the family especially to my siblings and me.  I cannot tell you how many times we have called to ask her to consult her diary for details of a specific date or event.  A few years ago, my mother had a brilliant idea that she should photocopy her journal and give a copy to the whole family. It does have some embarrassing moments in it, so it makes for an interesting read.

“Tell me the tales that to me were so dear, long, long ago.” Thomas Haynes Bayly



Comments (0) • Posted March 21, 2011

Author: Julie L., BS, BSN, RN
Julie has worked as a Registered Nurse in the emergency room, as a clinical nursing instructor, and as a director of clinical services in home care.

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