Renee Kinder

All we have left, Mrs. Kinder, is a brand new Mercedes … We will have to upgrade your rental car this week for free. Is that going to be OK?

I laugh out loud and respond, “Of course that is all you have. He would have it no other way.”

Reminisce with me.

Remember your favorite childhood nursery rhyme?

I do. It was one that my grandfather Harry “Buster” Brown would recite.

Reminisce with me:

Buster Brown went to town

Riding a billy goat followed by a hound

The billy goat jumped and the hound dog flipped

And there went Buster Brown

Buster Brown, aka, my Papaw.

And he loved me.

And he taught me that hard work works

And even in death he taught me to never, never, never, give up …

Never give in?

Hold on. That was my other grandfather. My Dan Dan.

Or was it both of them?

Reminisce with me.

Dan, Dan. He was the one with the Winston Churchill quote, framed, hanging in his bathroom.

An instigator.


You all have seen the picture. A frog, choking the pelican attempting to swallow him whole.

The framed quote was a gift from my grandmother, Nene, following a period of debate between my Dan Dan and the local hospital where he worked as a pathologist.

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or

Petty —never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never

yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

OK, it was both of them.

They framed, me, formed me, into the crazed “workaholic, gotta get it done, and never, never give in” attitude that motivates my day-to-day.

One of my team members said to me today. “But, Renee, you have to have a life.”

Seriously, grandparents formed me. This is my life. My way to give back to their generation.

Reminisce with me.

Who impacted your character?

My childhood you see was largely impacted by elders.

Confident? Yep.

Loved? You can guarantee it.

I speak fluent Shainghai Rummy, Chinese Checkers, Farmer’s Almanac, strong black coffee, “Murder She Wrote”  and Jeopardy.

I spent my college spring breaks in Ft. Myers, FL, beginning my day with Army exercise reps and bike rides to the local Publix to pick the perfect banana for our breakfast Cheerios.

Fuel for shuffleboard.

Reminisce with me

Those memories were happy ones, until last week when I landed in Ft. Myers for a work trip and proceeded to boo-hoo and cry like a total crazy person while walking through the airport.

The salt water aroma of the airport, the dapper older men looking so similar to my grandfather.

Upon exiting, I hopped into a transport van to the car rental. If he were here, I would be riding in style in a shiny Mercedes, I think. Not this time. Or so I initially thought.

Please understand, neither set of my grandparents grew up this way, but they worked to get there.

Reminisce with me.

College on the G.I. Bill and stealing milk from the Medical School cafeteria to feed their babies.

New shoes came once a year.

You eat what you are served and you finish, orelse you will have it for breakfast the next day.

Reminisce with me.

I am talking to all the therapists out there!

Connect with your patients. Reminisce with them.

Reminiscence Therapy (RT), after all, is an evidenced-based intervention approach that uses the life history and experience of an individual to improve his or her sense of well-being.

RT programs typically involve the discussion of past activities, events, and experiences — using tangible prompts, such as photographs, familiar items, and music from the past. The customized nature and individual focus of reminiscence therapy make it an intervention particularly well suited for individuals from diverse backgrounds.

RT Works by tapping into long-term memory area associated with long-term episodic memory and deficits, including difficulty remembering specific autobiographical events, situations, and experiences.

What topics should be discussed during RT?

◦    THEMES: Topics for reminiscence can be related to general themes, such as music, cooking or sports.

◦    PERSONALIZED: Or they can be related to autobiographical information from certain time periods or events in a person’s life, such as childhood or family weddings.

◦    Many people with dementia are able to access such memories and, with the support of a potent cue, can answer questions about, and elaborate on, those memories.

◦    Topics for reminiscence can be related to autobiographical information from certain time periods or events in a person’s life.

How is RT Implemented?

◦    Through reminiscence therapy (RT), patients discuss past activities and experiences with another person or group of people, usually aided by tangible stimuli like familiar objects and photographs

◦    These discussions are meant to facilitate social engagement and well-being.

◦    Given the technique’s reliance on communication, therapists can play an important role.

◦    They may facilitate group RT sessions or act as consultants, assessing participants’ language and cognitive skills and determining verbal and nonverbal cues to help them initiate and maintain conversations. Data should include the nature and frequency of participants’ communication.

Reminisce with me. It’s not only good for the soul, it helps to keep the precious memories of times and loved ones fresh in our memory and alive for generations to come.

Renee Kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT, is Vice President of Clinical Services  for Encore Rehabilitation and is the Silver Award winner in the 2018 American Society of Business Publishing Editors competition for the Upper Midwest Region in the Service/How To Blogs category. Additionally, she serves as Gerontology Professional Development Manager for the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) gerontology special interest group, is a member of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine community faculty, and is an advisor to the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC).