“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss
Memories are the glue that binds together our past with who we are today; and for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease, confusion around these memories can have a deep impact. One of our goals in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s is to help them hold onto and share memories in order to make sense of daily life.
One effective method to make this happen is through the creation of a memory book, which can provide visual cues for dementia patients. A memory book contains photos and brief descriptions to refer back to when a senior has questions relating to his or her identity, members of the family, etc. Memory books are great for responding to repetitive questions as well as for helping to clear any muddied waters. For example, if a senior 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 effective – and, can help with redirection as well for a senior loved one experiencing difficult behaviors or emotions.
The book can (and should) be straightforward and basic. Simply select a sturdy binder, photo album, or scrapbook and put one or two photographs on each page, with a short description underneath. Include details such as:
- Close family and friends, including those from the senior’s childhood, if at all possible
- The older adult’s workplace
- Special events and milestones
- Previous houses
You may want to create individual sections for every category, to make it simpler to locate a certain picture when wanted. For a more extensive or elaborate book, you can use this template, selecting which pages you want to include that’ll be most helpful for your loved one.
For even more creative Alzheimer’s resources and care tips, call Atlanta Home Care Partners at 404-228-0103. We’re also pleased to offer a free in-home consultation to share more about how we can help with the specific challenges your senior loved one is facing. Our specially trained, compassionate dementia caregivers can:
- Improve socialization
- Offer creative approaches to manage challenging behaviors
- Ensure safety in bathing/showering, dressing, etc. as well as reducing fall risk
- Provide trusted respite care for family caregivers to take time for self-care
- Engage seniors in meaningful, enjoyable activities
- Assist with preparing meals, feeding, and clean-up
- Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And much more