December 22, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

Memories are the glue that bind together our past experiences with who we are today; and for someone with dementia, confusion around these memories can have a profound impact. One of our goals in caring for seniors with dementia is to help them hold onto and share memories in order to make sense of daily life.

A great senior care tip to try 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 or her identity, family members, etc. Memory books are perfect for answering repetitive questions and for helping to clear any muddied waters. For instance, if a senior asks who his brother is, whether he’s married (and to whom), where he used to live, etc., a simple response of, “Let’s look at the memory book,” can be extremely 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 pick out a sturdy binder, photo album, or scrapbook and place one to two pictures on each page, with a brief description underneath. Include such details as:

  • Close family and friends, including those from the senior’s childhood, if possible
  • The senior’s workplace
  • Milestones and special events
  • Hobbies/interests
  • Pets
  • Previous residences
  • Etc.

You can also create separate sections for each category, to make it easier to find a particular image when desired. For a more elaborate or extensive book, you can use the template found here, selecting which pages you want to include that will be most helpful for your loved one.

For more creative senior care tips and resources, call At Home Independent Living, the leading providers of in home care near Syracuse, NY and surrounding areas, at (315) 579-4663. We’re also pleased to offer a free in-home consultation to share more about how we can help with the particular challenges your loved one is facing. Our specially trained, compassionate dementia caregivers can:

  • Enhance 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 time for self-care
  • Engage seniors in enjoyable, meaningful activities
  • Help with preparing meals, feeding, and clean-up
  • Run errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
  • And so much more

Contact our dementia care specialists today to discover a higher quality of life for a senior you love.