When memory impairment diseases, like Alzheimer’s or dementia, start affecting a loved one, shared recollections become very important to you and your family.
For people with these types of diseases, it’s typical for them to easily recall memories from long ago, however, their recent experiences tend to get lost. If your loved one has trouble recalling details from the past or present, family and friends can help remember for them.
Here are some activities you can do with your loved one who has Alzheimer’s to help them recall and preserve those special memories:
- Go through old photo albums, memory books, family bibles, and scrapbooks with them. Point out who and what is happening in the pictures and read special letters, notes and cards to them. If your loved one doesn’t seem to remember or recognize anyone, don’t press them. Just move on to the next picture or activity.
- Create a scrapbook with them. The act of collecting pictures, birthday cards, grandchildren’s drawings, or other special mementos may stimulate memories for your loved one. It also gives them a purpose and something fun to do with you and other family members.
- Record stories from the past. Talk about weddings, birthday parties, special holidays and vacations. Have other friends and family members join in on the video recording with you. You and your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s will enjoy watching it again and again.
- Listen to music associated with special memories from your loved ones past – wedding songs, hymns from church, or songs that used to inspire them to sing or dance. Even if the music doesn’t make them recall specific memories, it’s soothing, fun, and gives them a peaceful feeling.
- Watch special movies, plays, or TV shows with them – shows they enjoyed watching in their past. These shows might remind them of a special moment from long ago or even a more recent event.
- Cook some of your families’ favorite recipes together. Sometimes food and family traditions can evoke memories or special feelings.
It’s important that you don’t press them to remember certain events or stress them out. You want these activities to be fun, loving, and therapeutic. Even if they don’t recall the stories or past experiences, these activities are helpful to them because it keeps them active and gives them purpose.
For other ideas and best practices that benefit a family member with dementia or Alzheimer’s, contact Unlimited Care Cottages today.