“In the past few decades, there has been an increase in the use of life review techniques to improve mood, cognition, and quality of life among elderly individuals. The underlying theory is that late life depression is often caused (or at least worsened) by an inability to remember the trajectory of one’s life. By reliving one’s accomplishments and resolving past conflicts, the elderly person is able to feel successful and achieve peace with his or her life.”
Staff and Lazenby. Best Practices for the Nonpharm Treatment of Depression at the End of Life. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2012. 29:183 provides a good review of non-drug approaches to depression at life’s end.