“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 dementia, confusion around these memories can have a profound impact. One of our goals in taking care of seniors with dementia is to help them store and share memories in order to make sense of day-to-day life.
One effective method to make this happen is through the creation of a memory book, which includes pictures and short descriptions to refer back to when an older adult has questions relating to his/her identity, friends and family, etc. Memory books are perfect for answering repeated questions and for helping to clear any muddied waters. For example, if an older adult asks who his sister is, whether he’s married (and to whom), where he used to live, etc., a straightforward response of, “Let’s take a look at the memory book,” can be very helpful – and, can assist with redirection as well for a senior experiencing difficult behaviors or emotions.
The book can (and should) be straightforward and basic. Simply pick out a sturdy binder, scrapbook, or photo album and place one or two pictures on each page, with a short description underneath. Include details such as:
- Close family and friends, including those from the older adult’s childhood, when possible
- The senior’s workplace
- Special events and milestones
- Previous homes
- And more
You could set up separate sections for every category, making it much easier to locate a certain picture when desired. 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.
For more creative Alzheimer’s care tips and resources, call CareWorks Health Services at (949) 859-4700. We are also pleased to offer a complimentary in-home consultation to share how we can help with the particular challenges your loved one is facing. Our highly trained, compassionate dementia caregivers can:
- Improve socialization
- Offer creative approaches to manage difficult behaviors
- Ensure safety in bathing/showering, dressing, etc., as well as 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 and clean-up
- Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And much more