Posted on Apr 26, 2013
Memory loss can be very difficult and depressing not only for our clients, but for their friends and family members as well. It is difficult to watch family moments, vacations, weddings, and other special memories slip from our parents’ or grandparents’ minds. But the memories don’t have to be gone forever. There are ways to preserve these special moments and keep them alive for generations to come.
Write it down. Often times with dementia or Alzheimer’s, clients will slip into the past. During this time they can recall memories that they cannot in the present. If this happens, write it down! Keeping a journal is a great way to remember our loved ones’ past.
Picture perfect. Look for old photo albums. If you don’t have any of your loved ones, go to the library and check out picture books from the time of their youth (ex. photos of the Roaring 20’s or war time). Share these photos with your loved ones and spark their memory.
Talk about it. Remember how your grandmother used to make chocolate chip cookies for you every time you visited? Tell her about it! Share the stories you know about your loved ones to help them remember how much it meant to you.
Visuals are key. We live in a time where technology is almost everything. Might as well take advantage of it. If you have old videos from your youth, share them with your aging loved ones. They will enjoy seeing the younger you and it could potentially strike up memories as well.
Involve the whole family when it comes to helping loved ones remember. Sit down with the kids and grandkids while you all go through albums looking at pictures and telling wonderful stories. If your family and aging loved ones enjoy doing crafts and projects then make a date to take those pictures to a scrapbooking class and make a special day of it. Scrapbooking is fun for both the young and the old. Both Michaels and AC Moore have scrapbooking classes right in their stores. You can find a Michaels in Freehold, Matawan and North Brunswick. AC Moore stores are located in Manalapan, Shrewsbury and East Brunswick. You can purchase your supplies and take the class all in one place!
Not into crafts? Maybe movies are more your thing. Skip the rental and spend an evening with your loved ones watching home movies. You may be surprised that your mom or dad even has some really great stuff on the old reel to reel. I know my kids who are now 15 and 18 have always enjoyed seeing all the old home videos, but my parents love it even more!
Finally, start keeping a diary of the stories your aging parents share with you. If their memory ever starts to fade you will be able to share their favorite stories with them!
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