Keywords: Reminisce, Elderly, Older Adults, Qualitative, Narrative, Knowledge, Generational, Meaning in Life, Ageing, End of Life
Reminiscing by older adults can facilitate beneficial outcomes through the preparation for the end of life, the cohesiveness of life narratives, and the creation of life meanings. Given this, and the historical challenges of communication between generations, the objective of this study was two-fold: (1) to harness the beneficial role reminiscence can play in the mental health of older adults; (2) to facilitate generational learning by documenting and thematically analyzing the experiences and knowledge of older adults. We hypothesized that our interviews, which had the stated goal of helping younger people navigate life challenges, would not only act as a catalyst for the participants to reminisce but also create a corpus of knowledge which could be later transcribed and analyzed into accessible “pearls of wisdom”. The interviews were conducted in Canada with 132 participants who were 60 to 94 years of age with six questions constructed to promote further commentary. Through the interviews, we were successful in producing a large representation of the older adults' experiences and what they believed would be beneficial for the younger generation. Due to the potential benefits for participants and larger communities, we recommend this approach be adopted for future studies.