By Sue Thornton
With diseases such as Alzheimer’s, we lose our loved ones a little every day. This often seems like a long, slow good-bye, so we need to capture all their wonderful memories early on while they are energetic and fresh. This really horrible disease takes our loved ones away from us never to be the same again.
Once at an Alzheimer treatment center, it’s difficult to remind them of those really important family memories they tend to forget. We need to be proactive to help them remember each and every time we visit them. If you have a loved one that is currently in a Memory Care Unit in your city, you’re painfully aware of how difficult it is to go visit and that parent/grandparent who doesn’t know who you are. There is no memory in their eyes as they look at you.
Here are several ways to help:
Use digital therapy: One way we can help our loved ones that are diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s is to start going through those boxes of family photos and enjoying all the stories that go along with them. You are getting ready to assemble these photos into a memory book.
Use old photos: After going through all the family photos, now it is time to decide which ones you feel will help your loved one to remember their family. You would take photos from their marriage, children, grandchildren and any other ones that would help them remember.
Use old papers and mementos: It is suggested that you also include papers and other items that are special to your loved one. I suggest you come up with a list of topics to start helping them remember. Examples would be marriage, childhood, favorite holidays, travel, children, grandchildren, etc.
Have them tell the stories and record them before they are lost to us: Don’t be rigid in your questioning with these loved ones, because they will get tired, or maybe not remember right away. This part might be more difficult than you think because their attention span is short, so be prepared to do this over several visits.
As a certified photo organizer, I can help you with putting everything together once you have the items you want to use in a memory book. That includes, scanning the photos, documents, other mementos and stories to put into the memory book. Once you are ready to have the book organized then we can put everything in chronological order.
This is also an excellent way to tell your family story to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren for years to come.
Check me out at www.PhotoOrganizingSolutions.net for more information about how I can help you in this journey.