Documents also help

Other sources of information might include important papers or personal letters. Consider making copies of anything precious for safekeeping.

Keep these helpful hints in mind when adding photos and documents to a memory box:

  • Use a jar or special box instead of a photo album. Photo albums that are closed or tucked away might be hard to find. Also, don't use a generic plastic container with a lid. Your loved one might not remember what's inside.
  • Older photos are often best. What age is your loved one living in his or her mind? You'll want to include plenty of pictures from that time. One exception — photos of grandkids.
  • Every picture tells a story. Write that story as a caption for each photo. Include the names of anyone in the picture and the date, if possible.

Using the memory bank

Once you create your loved one's memory bank, use it. Pull out photos and other items throughout the day to remind the person of special relationships, events and places.

By documenting your loved one's life story, you can affirm the positive things he or she has done and, possibly, can still do. Even after your loved one's memories fade, creating this kind of treasury shows that you value and respect his or her legacy — and it can help remind you who your loved one was before Alzheimer's disease.

Sept. 06, 2017 See more In-depth