Ideas to Incorporate in an Alzheimer’s Memory Book
As we age and get older, there are many different things we like to accomplish or take care of. Things such as traveling, spending more time with loved ones, and even taking care of our possessions. Estate planning is essential for those that want to provide for their family and friends, especially before one’s health declines. Failure to do so may result in delay for family members and costly court fees.
For those living with Alzheimer’s, it is hard to accomplish all the things that were planned. However, a memory book of how life was like is a wonderful asset for recentering and refocusing. A curated book of past memories is a great activity for reminiscing. Caregivers and home health aides who are interested in creating a memory book can easily make one with the following concepts.
- Family Members
A great addition to a memory book is a beloved family member. Add photos of the member with simple captions that categorize their name and relationship. If the family member has passed away, and your elderly individual is cognizant of this passing, you can still put them in.
- Homes (Past and Present)
Nothing triggers a more visceral reaction than a photo of a previous home! If you have access to photos of an old home, this would make a great addition to a memory book. Try and find detailed photos that will trigger a fond memory. Look for photos that include an old tire swing, treehouse, or beloved childhood bedroom. Your goal is to foster a conversation that will allow your loved one to freely associate memories.
- Old jobs
Another great addition to a memory book are tokens of an old job. This could be a photo of an old workplace, an employee ID, or the embossing of an old uniform. Try to gather all of the stimuli in one place, to allow your loved one a solid foundation for jumping off of.
- Furry friends
There is nothing better than the memory of a beloved pet! Gather together photos and supplement a collar, chew toy, etc. If your loved one is in a later stage of Alzheimer’s and cannot differentiate the memory of a pet that has passed away and the present moment, it may be best to omit this. As with everything, use discretion and tailor the book to your loved one’s needs!
- A favorite food
For many of us, our history lies in the food we eat. Nothing can bring us back to a memory more than the smell of a favorite snack or dinner. Although you cannot incorporate a full meal into a book, you can always incorporate more ideas. Take photos of the ingredients; incorporate the dish that it was traditionally served in; you can even invest in a scratch and sniff to trigger fond memories!