The Importance of a Memory Box
One thing that can be really useful for people with dementia is for family members to create a ‘Memory Box’. These boxes include items that bring back fond memories of important moments in the person’s life. For care and nursing homes offering a person-centred approach, these boxes also enable staff to understand their residents better and make it easier to strike up a conversation with them.
A Memory Box can be any type, size or material, and the contents should consist of objects with different shapes, textures or even smells. The objects should be linked with happy memories, although not hazardous or valuable. Some ideas would be:
• Soft toys and teddies
• Books and magazines
• Pictures or a photo album
• Certificates or medals
• Baby clothes of children or grandchildren
• Hobby rewards or creations
• Favourite perfume or partner’s perfume
Of course, it doesn’t have to be one memory box – they can be separated by theme. Maybe souvenirs, photos or fridge magnets from a holiday in one box, and a video of their first dance, gifts or a bow tie from their wedding day in another. These boxes can be created on behalf of your loved one or with them. It’s a lovely way to learn more and bond with family members or friends.
In this video, Alison Hearle, Dementia and Social Life Lead at Morris Care’s premium nursing homes, explains what a memory box is and talks us through her own memory box, as part of our Alzheimer's Awareness Month series of videos.