Seniors often suffer from memory loss, especially if they suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, so a memory box can be a great way to help them keep their memories alive. Family caregivers and other family members can get together to collect things that are important to their elderly loved one and compile a memory box for them. We at Carefect Home Care Services would like to offer some tips on how to make a memory box for your senior loved one.
Preparing the Box
When creating a memory box it is important to consider what you want to put in the box beforehand so that the box will be big enough to hold everything. Once you have a suitable box, it is nice to decorate the box so that it looks nice and appealing. Family caregivers do not have to decorate their box, but decorating it can make it look much nicer and can provide seniors with a nice gift that they can enjoy and will know that you spent a lot of time working on. Cloth and acid-free paper make good decorating items because they do not fade as quickly as other items do, so using them will allow your box to last a long time.
Choosing the Items
When it comes to choosing items to put in the box, touch is said to be a very useful sense when it comes to bringing back memories, so family caregivers should try to include important objects that their loved one can hold when making their box. Items related to your loved one’s favorite past hobbies are great for a memory box because they can hold the items and try to recall times when they enjoyed participating in their favorite hobby in the past. Some examples of this are sports related items such as a baseball glove or golf ball for those who played sports or tools for those who enjoyed building things or working around the house. If possible family caregivers should try to put in items that their loved one actually used, unfortunately sometimes things get misplaced and if that happens it is ok for family caregivers to find a similar replacement for their loved one’s memory box. Family caregivers can also include other items that their loved ones enjoyed such as stuffed animals or jewelry. If your loved one used to enjoy travelling, you can include souvenirs from their trips or items that remind them of their favorite destination.
Pictures and Notes
Pictures and other items such as ticket stubs or postcards are also very beneficial in a memory box as seniors can gather information from the picture or ticket and try to remember what was going on in the picture or when they went to see a certain show or went on a vacation and bought a postcard. Adding the date to these items can also be very helpful as it can help seniors bring back their memories if they were having trouble remembering when they did certain things. Having help from other family members can be especially helpful here because they can help with dates if family caregivers were not present for the events or do not remember when they occurred. Adding notes to pictures can also be very helpful, especially if seniors are having trouble remembering people or places. You do not have to write a full biography for each item but it can be nice to include the date and write down who is in each picture and where the picture was taken.
Family caregivers who enjoy making a memory box for their loved one can get creative and make more boxes with themes. Beach themed boxes are very popular and easy to make for seniors. Family caregivers can collect beach items such as sea shells, sand and even plastic beach toys for their box. Nature boxes are also very easy to make for those who loved to spend a lot of time outside. For this type of box family caregivers can collect leaves and dried flowers or flower petals as well as pinecones or acorns from trees. Family caregivers that want more creative boxes can use their loved one’s interests to create special boxes that contain a variety of items that remind them of their favorite things. Another example of a themed box is a bird box for those who enjoyed bird watching. This type of box could contain pictures of birds and even feathers if you are able to find feathers somewhere without having to pick them off a bird. The ideas for themed boxes are endless if you take the time to think about your loved one’s interests and see what you can find to collect in a memory box for them.
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