Personal Items: A Peek into the Past for Alzheimer’s Patients

Whether your loved one is in their own home, or in an assisted living or Alzheimer’s unit, keeping personal items close is an important aspect of their care. Familiar items help those with Alzheimer’s keep their sense of identity and belonging. A great idea we have come across is to create a memory box for your loved one. A memory box holds items that bring your loved one back to a moment in time, can stir happy thoughts, and give you and them something to talk about.

The items you choose for the memory box should be personal items or items that reflect the senior’s interests or memories or have a special meaning to them. Some items you could possibly include in a memory box are:

  • Pictures
  • Recipes
  • Postcards
  • Letters
  • Music
  • Souvenirs
  • Keychain
  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • Small toy

If you find that you have too many items for one memory box, you can create numerous boxes with different themes. You can also involve your senior in making the box, spurring creativity. The box can be as big as you want, it can be decorated, and you can feel free to be as creative as you and your loved one want. Memory boxes are also a great way for you to gain valuable insight into the past of your loved one and determine what was important or meaningful to them.

Your loved one may not always recognize what the items in the box are, but it can still strike up a conversation, and you can prompt them to remember the story behind the objects. You can also include labels or stickers on each item so they know what they are and why they were included.

A memory box is a great way to incorporate personal items into your loved one’s care. By bringing together important items, you can encourage your loved one to talk about their memories, explain why those things are important to them and can spark conversation between your loved one and their caregiver or other family members. Keeping personal items close helps your loved one keep their sense of identity, which is invaluable when it comes to Alzheimer’s.