Many of us have old boxes stored away that are full of memories from our past. Whether it’s mementos from a favourite holiday, photographs from when we were young or a keepsake from a significant other, these boxes act as a way for us to revisit times gone by whenever we feel like reminiscing.
For people living with Dementia, being able to recall these happy memories not only provides the opportunity to revisit significant life events, but it’s also an effective way to combat feelings of agitation and upset.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to help your loved one conjure up memories of positive events is to create a Dementia memory box. Making a Dementia memory box is a great way to enable those living with the condition to feel more comfortable, while also generating an interest in an activity. To find out more about what a Dementia memory box is, or what to put in a memory box for Dementia, read below.
What is a memory box for Dementia?
So, what is a memory box for Dementia? A Dementia memory box is a collection of objects and photographs that are representative of important or meaningful times from the past. Exploring and talking about events from times gone by can help to trigger short-term memories, by bringing long-term memories to the fore. There are many good reasons for making a Dementia memory box, but among the most important include:
- Generating fond memories from childhood
- Acting as an effective conversation starter
- Discussing memories as an insight into your loved ones’ life and history
- Taking part in a creative activity that is enjoyable and enlightening
How to make a memory box for Dementia
When considering what to put in a memory box for Dementia, focusing on the five senses of sight, taste, touch, hearing and smell is a useful way to ensure the box you’re creating is tailored to the specific interests and preferences of your loved one. With this in mind, we’ve outlined some of top memory box ideas for Dementia that are simple, affordable and can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Memory box ideas for Dementia
1. Photographs and newspaper cuttings
Photographs and newspaper cuttings are among the most popular items to include in memory boxes for people with Dementia, and this is because of their ability to instantly remind someone of happy memories. Whether it’s a photograph of a wedding day, a first house they lived in or a grandchild’s graduation, photographs are a great way to stimulate fond memories and enable communication. If your loved one is at a point in their Dementia journey where they are no longer able to use photographs to trigger recognition, a newspaper cutting featuring a significant or personal event may be better.
Whether it be a tape, vinyl or CD, music is one of the biggest helps when it comes to prompting memories. Play the music and ask your loved one whether they can remember anything about the song and what it means to them. The power of music (especially singing) is slowly becoming an integral part of Dementia care services, helping to unlock long-forgotten memories and reach parts of the brain in ways other forms of communication cannot.
3. Mementos and souvenirs
When it comes to memory boxes for Dementia, it’s important to include a variety of different sized objects and textures – nothing too large or heavy, but items that offer a range of different sensations. It could be an object from a previous hobby, such as a cricket ball, or perhaps a postcard sent from a friend a number of years before. Mementos and souvenirs are also great cues for you to ask your loved ones about important people in their lives that you may not necessarily be aware of.
4. Favourite foods
Whether it’s a favourite biscuit, chocolate bar or piece of fruit, including your loved ones’ favourite foods can be a nice reminder of pastime treats. Taste is one of our most powerful senses, which is why it’s important to include foods that can help to stimulate different flavours and memories.
5. Perfumes, bars of soap or body lotions
Items that have a specific or memorable smell, such as a perfume, hand lotion or a bar of soap, are ideal to include in memory boxes for Dementia. Smell is our strongest sense and the one thought to be most closely related to memory. Whether it’s the scent of our favourite flower, the baby powder we used on our children when they were young or the preferred aftershave of a spouse, we all have memories that can instantly take us back to a previous time – and this is even more important for those living with Dementia.
Making memories with IP Homecare
Here at IP Homecare, our live-in carers are on hand to provide 24-hour care that is tailored to your loved ones’ individual needs. Our Dementia care not only includes assistance with practical everyday tasks such as personal care, preparing meals and ensuring personal safety, but also enabling individuals to take part in engaging and meaningful activities such as making a Dementia memory box.
If you think live-in care may be the best option for a loved one living with Dementia, contact us today. Our friendly team are on hand to discuss your individual circumstances, or to help you arrange a free care assessment. Alternatively, you can call us on 0808 278 6153 to discuss your care options.