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How To Make A Memory Book For Dementia

Things To Put In Your Memory Book

This Is My Life Memory Book for Dementia Care
  • name of the patient
  • birthday
  • name and occupation of your parent’s grandparents and great grandparents
  • brothers and sisters
  • details on mom and dad
  • What they liked to do when they were little?
  • Where was their first home? Where else did they live?
  • First school, education later on, favorite subject
  • Work they did
  • Wedding date, memories of that day
  • Details on in laws
  • Important events in their life
  • General health information
  • Friends
  • Travel stories

You don’t have to have information about all of these. Just fill in those that are relevant to your parent. Include pictures where you can.

How To Make A Memory Book

What goes inside a memory book will be different for every individual, nor is there a right or wrong way to creating one yourself.

You can do it on your own or you can gather some of the supplies we recommend below and follow the tutorials, too.

It all depends on what you feel is best for you and your loved one with dementia.

If you’re looking to get crafty with your memory book, here are some supplies you should have:

  • Something to keep the memories in

  • Construction paper

  • Tape, glue, scissors, pens, markers, etc.

  • Family photos, tokens from past events, anything else that should be put into the book

Remember, just about anything can go into a memory book, but try to include things that conjure up fond memories for the one utilizing it.

Memory Book Tutorials

To help you put your memory book together, we’ve rounded up some video tutorials on just what to do.

This video goes over what to add to the MindStart This Is My Life memory book.

In this tutorial, a grandmother works with her granddaughters and great-granddaughters to put together a memory book for her life. It just goes to show it’s more fun when you get others involved.

If you’re looking to get really crafty with your memory book, this is the tutorial for you.

Expect Experiential Learning Only

Dementia takes away our rational thought processes but leaves our intuitive ones, so people become unable to learn by memorization but continue to learn from experience. So, if you allow deadlines and appointments to become a source of conflict, youll have increasing trouble over time issues. Instead, keep in mind that when someone has dementia, it is always possible that youll make it to an appointment on time, but never probable.

Focus your attention on one preparatory task at a time, but primarily on your loved one. This approach gives you the best chance of making deadlines. More importantly, though, your loved one will learn that its always fun to do things with you, rather than learning that when the clock is involved therell be trouble.

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To Make A Book Of Memories You Will Need

  • A large enough book with clean, empty pages to put the pictures and write descriptions in.
  • Either glue, Sellotape or some other way to stick the pictures into the memory book.
  • Information you can write alongside the photos like information on the persons birthday, children they have, history of work, marriage, school days, significant events in their life, etc.
  • Pictures from the persons life events and timelines. This could be pictures from holidays, birthdays.

Content Of A Life Story

Memory and Orientation Books

Topics we suggest focusing on are:

  • Their profile, ie, basic information: name, age, where they live etc.
  • Significant relationships with family and friends
  • Their childhood
  • Significant places and life events
  • Preferences with their appearance
  • Activities they enjoy/dont enjoy
  • General likes and dislikes

Try not to bombard the person with too many specific questions. General questions or opening up the conversation about a topic may be easier. For example: Can you tell me about where you grew up?

When the Life Story is completed, share with family, friends and professional carers, so they too can get to know the person better and learn more about how to help them and meet their needs.

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How To Assemble Your Album

Using glue sticks designed for photos, I liberally covered the back of each photo with glue. Covering the entire surface with glue will assure that your photo remains attached where it is placed.

Before placing the photo in the album, I used a sturdy black pen to write the name of the person in the picture. Some photos allowed me to write directly on the photo. Portrait shots usually have plenty of background space for the name to be written. If you want to be creative, use another color of ink.

Blue Sky White Clouds: A Book For Memory

Sobel wrote this book after spending time with his mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. The author discovered his mother couldnt form full sentences or follow a traditional book storyline, but she still loved to read. This inspired him to write a book that seniors with dementia or Alzheimers disease would enjoy. The book is a simple read for memory-challenged adults, and it contains beautiful photographs that are large, bright, and realistic.

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Older Adults With Dementia: How Creating A Memory Book Can Help

A memory book can help older adults with dementia.

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 Alzheimers, 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 shes married , where she used to live, etc., a response of, Lets 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 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 seniors childhood, whenever possible
  • The seniors place of work
  • Special events and milestones

Details To Include In Memory Book For Dementia

MindStart This Is My Life Memory Book: Creating and Using in Dementia Care
  • Close family and friends, including those from the older adults childhood, when possible
  • The seniors workplace
  • 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 Alzheimers care tips and memory book resources, call CareWorks Health Services at . 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

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Use Labels To Help With Identification

It can also be a good idea to label the items. Maybe a note accompanying each item or a sticky label giving times and dates the object was used, dates a photo was taken, peoples names in the photo. Signage is great for people with dementia to help them easily locate areas and items in the home.

Labeling items and objects can help greatly if a care worker or other family members such as grandchildren use the memory box with the person with dementia, as they may not be as familiar with the items as the person who made the box is, especially if it contains personal memories of the person. We have sticky and rigid signage for sale at our shop

What Is A Memory Book For Dementia And What Are The Benefits Of Memory Books For Dementia

A memory book is a book filled with photographs, letters, notes, and other sentimental items. Memory books dont have a cut and dry layout or format. The purpose of memory books for dementia patients is to help individuals reconnect with their pasts on an emotional level.

Memory books can help jog a persons memory, while also giving you quality one-on-one time with your loved ones as you go through the book with them. As each page turns and you and your loved ones are presented with photographs and keepsake items, you can retell those stories to them.

Remind them of where they were, who they were with, what the purpose of the trip was for example and how much fun was had. Did anything happen that was shocking, funny, scary, or memorable in some way?

Even if it wasnt captured in that photograph, retelling those stories can help turn the switch on a persons memory and could give a wonderful memory back to them.

Memory books can be wonderful gifts for Alzheimers patients and dementia sufferers alike.

Picture books for adults with dementia can make connecting with those individuals easier, creating new memories in the process.

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Why Use A Memory Box

Memory boxes can be used in a multitude of ways and you can make one using almost any sized box or container. You can use any objects that you can get your hands on that reminds you or connects you or somebody else with the past.

They are really simple to make and can be a great fun way for you or the individual or group to reminisce over a past event or a particular time in history.

What Is A Memory Book

Memory and Orientation Books

A memory book contains a collection of photographs, pictures and descriptions placed in a book to help the person or others to remember a persons lifes activities or interests. This can be a great aid to stimulating the memories of a person with dementia. Photos of friends and family members, events in their life, holidays or work can all be included.

A memory book is different to a memory box because a memory box contains solid items that a person can touch and feel rather than photos and words. Though a memory box can also contain photos.

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Making Memory Boxes For Somebody With Dementia

There are many benefits to creating a memory box for a person with dementia. They help with bringing back memories and are great for helping with communication.

Memory boxes can be used to help you encourage the person to talk about the objects in the box. What memories does the person have about the items. Use the items to ask questions about their connection with the item and allow them time to think and talk about what connects them to the time or event.

In most cases a person suffering from a memory loss disease will lose their short-term memory but retain their long-term memories. This is why using a memory box can help bring back happy memories and events from their past.

This can help to stimulate their long-term memory and also help with communication between you and the person.

If you are making a memory box for a group of people, maybe for use in a daycare or help group, try to use general items that all the group can relate to rather than tailoring to an individual.

Reasons To Create A Memory Box For Alzheimers

Memory boxes can link loved ones to their identity, with keepsakes emphasizing an overall holiday, person or theme that lifts the seniors spirit. Though it will take time to find which keepsakes to store in the memory box, it is worth the effort.

Here are five reasons to make a memory box for a senior loved one with Alzheimers:

  • Exercise, touch and other senses used in the creation of a memory box will become more important for a loved one to rely on as Alzheimers progresses.
  • Fond memories of a seniors history, personal interests and youth can be explored.
  • Memory boxes can inspire conversation with caregivers, children or grandchildren.
  • More insight into your loved one and their past will be gained. When you search for keepsakes to include in a memory box, you may find special items you did not realize the senior still had or was interested in.
  • Spurred creativity from the creation of a memory box. The senior may be inspired to create another box about a different life event or memory.
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    How To Create A Photo Album For A Dementia Patient

    I labeled our names under the photo!!

    Forgetting names and faces is a common issue with dementia patients. My mother had severe memory loss. Names were slow to come, and some faces were not as readily remembered.

    To help my mom remember faces and family members’ names, I created a photo book for her as a gift. The process was not difficult or very time-consuming. I kept it simple to reduce visual confusion. The focus of the photo album was our familythe faces and names of loved ones.

    It does not have to be expensive or large.

    How Do You Create A Memory Book For Someone With Dementia

    memory books for people living with dementia

    You may be wondering what you should include in a memory box for dementia sufferers? Before you actually start building the memory book, youll need to decide what youd like your focal point of the book to be.

    Will the theme of the memory book be on a persons entire life, or perhaps youd like to focus on family times or the persons marriage. Some additional memory book theme ideas you could focus on are:

    • The years your loved one spent working or on active duty
    • Their pets throughout the years
    • Vacations theyve been on and places theyve traveled to
    • Different homes theyve lived in
    • For creatives, the things theyve created throughout the years like pieces of art or sculptures
    • For musicians, the places theyve performed and who theyve performed with
    • Focusing on your loved ones children and time spent with them

    Now that you know what the theme of your memory book will be, creating your memory book for people who suffer from dementia is more simple than you might think.

    You can create them in a variety of ways. Some of the most common are by purchasing an empty photo album or a scrapbook album. These can be found online or in-person at your local art supply store. They come in many different colors and styles and can serve a multitude of purposes.

    What you choose to include inside the memory book will be up to you. But, some common items you may want to include are:

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    Write Short Descriptions Alongside The Photos

    When you place the pictures in the memory book try to leave enough space to write a description next to each photo. The descriptions need to be short. Mention the persons name in the picture, if the person is captured in the photo doing something, ie, cycling. You should also mention the activity they are doing. But always keep the sentences short and simple.

    An example would be: Here is your brother Steve and he is cycling a red bike.

    How Life Story Work Can Help

    Everyone has their own unique life story. Our life experiences shape us as individuals, and knowing these, helps others to understand who we are as a person.

    People with dementia can experience problems with communication and memory loss, which means they sometimes need help to communicate important aspects of who they are, such as their background, interests, and who and what is important to them. A Life Story acts as a record of this information and can be shared with others to help them better understand and relate to the person with dementia.

    Compiling a Life Story can:

    • help people with dementia share who they are, convey important information about themselves, and help enhance their sense of identity
    • help family members develop a closer bond with the person with dementia, through sharing their stories
    • give professional carers an understanding of the persons life, and a better understanding of the persons needs, allowing them to communicate with the person and care for them in the best way possible
    • allow staff in hospitals or a care home, to better understand and engage with the person they care for

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    Making A Group Memory Box

    You can make memory boxes tailored towards individuals or a group of people. This could be in a day centres or care homes. If you make one for an individual they can be more personal items in the box. If you are making one for a group of people then use more general items from a particular era or event.

    Make a memory box for a day centre or group of people

    • Think about the average age of the group before adding the items. Most people of a certain age will have a recollection of the items from a particular era or event.
    • Try not to tailor the items to any one individual.
    • Use photos showing the trends in clothing, old vehicles, sporting events, historical events such as royal weddings.
    • Sweet wrappers, old food tin labels and postcards are ideal.
    • Old money such as notes or coins.

    A memory box tailored to an individual

    • Include photos of when they were younger, also photos of friends and other relatives. Try not to include any photo that could be upsetting especially if of a loved one that has passed away, ie. wife or husband.
    • Something that reminds them of the work they used to do, maybe a tape measure for a builder or joiner.
    • Old tickets from places they visited.
    • Small items the person may have collected from holidays or places they visited.
    • Books they like.
    • Sporting memorabilia.

    If you are making a memory box for use in a day centre or care home you can pick up many cheap items to use from charity shops.


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