“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 deep impact. One of our goals in providing home care for seniors with dementia is to help them hold onto and share memories in order to make sense of day-to-day life.
A wonderful way to accomplish this is through the creation of a memory book, which includes pictures and brief descriptions to refer back to when a senior has questions about his/her identity, members of the family, etc. Memory books are fantastic for answering repetitive questions and for helping to clear any muddied waters. For instance, if an older adult 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,” can be very effective – and, can help with redirection as well for a senior experiencing difficult emotions or behaviors.
The book can (and should) be basic and straightforward. Simply choose a sturdy binder, photo album, or scrapbook and place one to two photos on each page, with a short description underneath. Include such details as:
- Close family and friends, including those from the senior’s childhood, whenever possible
- The older adult’s place of work
- Milestones and special events
- Previous residences
You can also create individual sections for each category, so it will be easier to find a certain image when desired. For a more extensive or elaborate book, you can use the template found here , selecting which pages you wish to include that’ll be most helpful for your senior loved one.
For more creative dementia resources and care tips, call Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, the experts in dementia care in Portage, MI and other Michigan communities, at (866) 229-2505. We are also pleased to offer a no-cost in-home consultation to share how we can help with the specific challenges your senior 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 respite care for family caregivers to take some time for self-care
- Engage older adults in enjoyable, meaningful activities
- Assist with preparing meals, meal help, and clean-up
- Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And so much more