December 17, 2020
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss
Memories are what bind together our past with who we are today; and for a senior with Alzheimer’s, confusion around these memories can have a profound impact. One of our goals in taking care of older adults with dementia is to help them store and share memories in order to make sense of day-to-day life.
A great way to accomplish this is through the creation of a memory book that contains photographs and brief descriptions to refer back to when an older adult has questions about his or her identity, relatives, etc. Memory books are fantastic for responding to repeated questions as well as for helping to clear any muddied waters. For instance, if an older adult asks who her brother is, whether she’s married (and to whom), where she used to live, etc., a response of, “Let’s look at the memory book,” could be extremely effective – and, can help with redirection as well for a senior loved one experiencing difficult emotions or behaviors.
The book can (and should) be straightforward and basic. Simply choose a sturdy binder, photo album, or scrapbook and put one or two pictures on each page, with a short description underneath. Include such details as:
- Close friends and family, including those from the senior’s childhood, whenever possible
- The senior’s place of work
- Special events and milestones
- Previous residences
- And more
You may want to set up individual sections for every category, to make it easier to locate a certain image when wanted. For a more elaborate or extensive book, you can utilize this template, identifying which pages you want to include that will be most helpful for your loved one.
To get more creative dementia care tips and resources, call Continuum at (314) 863-9912. We’re also pleased to offer a no-cost in-home consultation to share more about how we can help with the specific challenges your senior loved one is facing. Our highly trained, compassionate dementia caregivers can:
- Encourage socialization
- Offer creative approaches to manage difficult behaviors
- Ensure safety in bathing/showering, dressing, etc. along with reducing fall risk
- Provide trusted relief care for family caregivers to take time for self-care
- Engage seniors in enjoyable, meaningful activities
- Assist with preparing meals, feeding, and clean-up
- Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And so much more