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
- Making a memory book (Alzheimer's). NIH Senior Health. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvmL9GM01ws. Accessed Aug. 12, 2017.
- Elfrink TR, et al. The effectiveness of creating an online life story book on persons with early dementia and their informal caregivers: A protocol of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Geriatrics. 2017;17:95.
- Brackey J. Memory Box. In: Creating Moments of Joy for the Person With Alzheimer's or Dementia. 5th ed. West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press; 2017:184.
- Memory loss and confusion. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/care/dementia-memory-loss-problems-confusion.asp. Accessed Aug. 11, 2017.
- Graff-Radford J (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 17, 2017.