The purpose for creating a memory box for persons with dementia is to help them recall people and events from the past. These memories can stimulate the senior emotionally and mentally and also help to initiate conversations with loved ones.
A memory box should contain a variety of items that hold special significance. These items can be used to engage their touch or other senses and to comfort them when they are anxious.
Steps to create a Memory Box:
- Find a suitable container
- It can be a plastic bin, a basket, a shoe box
- It should be durable and able to store easily
- Decorate the box
- It can be extravagant or simplistic, ask for their preference
- Decorate it together
- Label it so it's easy to locate
- Start adding items
- Things should reflect their past interests
- Something that represents a monumental moment in their lives
- It can be a personal item like an important jewellery or an item of clothing
- Our brains are not just visual, try to include items of different textures, scents or sounds
- Some examples are: photos, clothing, dried flowers, vacation souvenirs, a letter from a loved one, trophies, favourite CDs
Possibilities for what to add to your memory box is endless. It is unique and special to them only. It encourages them to share the special memories associated with these items, it could inspire a waterfall of thoughts and conversations.