Virtual Conference
Dementia Conference

Giovanni DeLaRosa

Harvard University Secondary School Program, USA

Title: The Impact of Memory Rentension in Seniors when an item they hold dear is shared with others.


Background: Possessions play crucial roles in memory adaptation. As humans age, the body inevitably undergoes physiological changes that can cause lapses in brain function. As a result, it takes more time to learn, retain, and recall information. However, we have yet to fully explore the impact of sharing the cherished items to which those memories are so fondly attached. 

Aims/Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the impact that sentimental objects have on memory retention in seniors, or individuals 65 years and over. Methods: This study empirically investigates how seniors feel when giving away their most treasured possession(s), especially in situations when there are established reminders of such item(s), such as pictures. Qualitative interviews were conducted, and questionnaires were completed prospectively by 150 seniors. 

Results: The study's findings reflected the therapeutic impact was largely due to the participant's experience describing their sentiments about the item as well as associated stories. Revisiting the keepsake provided a window into the senior's past and formation, strengthened the giver's memory, and reframed both positive and traumatic memories in a new light. Importantly for the family, these memories are sustained after the senior's memory has faded. 

Conclusions and Recommendations: This modality of sharing cherished items requires further


Giovanni DeLaRosa is a rising Senior at Grace Lutheran in Pocatello, Idaho, and a member of the Harvard 2022 Secondary School program in Cambridge, MA. Giovanni is a celebrated author with multiple articles on aging and learning disorders. He has worked with Dr. Juan Leon at Portneuf Medical Center, researching how to affect memory in aging. He is the CEO of a not-for-profit specializing in helping seniors.