One day, while looking on Pinterest, I was completely inspired by the idea of Alzheimer's Memory Books or Boxes and I knew immediately I wanted to create one for my grandma. My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2009, and it's truly been heartbreaking watching as she slowly slips away. It began with forgetting to turn off lights or if she had purchased milk and then she forgot the day of the week, the year or her grandchildren's names. In recent years she has forgotten virtually all family members - occasionally she remembers my dad and uncle (her sons) but their names are a distant memory only occasionally remembered. For more information about Alzheimer's check out the Alzheimer's Society of Canada.
I created this album last year in December and haven't had a chance to share it yet - but I knew I wanted to share it because it's such a meaningful project. I created this Alzheimer's Memory book for my grandma as a Christmas present.
An Alzheimer's Memory book is a project you put together which share's the patient's story. It helps them remember things by prompting memories. It's also supposed to help people who visit the patient to have something to speak to them about. For more information about Alzheimer's Memory Books check out this, this, this, and this.
I created this mini album in a 3 part video series.
You can check out an overview of the project and the setup here:
You can check out the process video here:
You can check out the final album share and a clip of my grandma reading it here:
I had so much fun creating this album for my grandma and it was so special to give it to her and review it with her.
Are you thinking about creating an Alzheimer's Memory Book? Here are a few tips, I have after making mine and sharing it with my grandma:
- Consider making a smaller album which will be easy for the individual to hold, carry and flip through.
- Consider using one simple collection so that the whole album is cohesive.
- Keep it simple!
- Try to use simple, easy language and vocabulary so that if the person loses their language ability they will still be able to read it.
- Write it from the perspective of the patient with Alzheimer's so that when they are reading it, they are reading it from their own perspective.
I also wanted to say if anyone has a family member or friend with Alzheimer's and has been wondering if they should make one - go for it! Honestly, it will be one of the most meaningful projects you'll ever create and it will be a HUGE BLESSING to that individual.