“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss
Memories are what bind together our past experiences with who we are today; and for an individual with dementia, confusion around these memories can have a profound impact. One of our goals in caring for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is to help them store and share memories in order to make sense of day-to-day life.
A great method to accomplish this is through the creation of a memory book for Alzheimer’s patients, which includes photos and brief descriptions to refer back to when a senior loved one has questions relating to his or her identity, members of the family, etc. Memory books are fantastic for answering repeated questions and for helping to clear any muddied waters. For instance, if a senior asks who his brother is, whether he’s married (and to whom), where he used to live, etc., an easy response of, “Let’s go through the memory book,” could be extremely effective – and, can help with redirection as well for a senior experiencing difficult behaviors or emotions.
The book can (and should) be basic and straightforward. Simply choose a sturdy binder, photo album, or scrapbook and place 1 to 2 pictures on each page, with a brief description underneath. Include such details as:
- Close family and friends, including those from the older adult’s childhood, if at all possible
- The senior’s workplace
- Milestones and special events
- Previous residences
- And so on
You may want to set up individual sections for each category, to make it quicker to locate a certain photo when wanted. For a more extensive or elaborate book, you can make use of this template, selecting which pages you want to include that will be most helpful for your senior loved one.
For more creative Alzheimer’s care tips and resources, call Midnight Sun Home Care at (907) 677-7890. We’re also pleased to offer a free in-home consultation to share how we can help with the specific challenges your senior loved one is facing. Our specially trained, compassionate dementia caregivers can:
- Encourage socialization
- Offer creative approaches to manage difficult behaviors
- Ensure safety in showering/bathing, dressing, etc. in addition to reducing fall risk
- Provide trusted relief care for family caregivers to take time for self-care
- Engage older adults in meaningful, enjoyable activities
- Assist with preparing meals, feeding, and clean-up
- Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And so much more