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Do you have a family member with Alzheimer’s experiencing memory loss or cognitive impairment? Making a memory book for them can be a powerful aid in preserving their memories. Finding meaningful activities for persons diagnosed with dementia is helpful to their well-being.

Your Memory Book should be about likes, dislikes, interests, work history and identify family and friends. If possible, start as soon as possible after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s as been made. Not only will this book help your loved one to remember their life story but can also serve as a storybook for future generations.

Tips For Creating A Memory Book For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s

  1. Select a book that will perfectly fit in your loved one’s lap. The book shouldn’t feel cumbersome or awkward for them to turn the pages.
  2. Choose pages that can hold the weight of the photos and items you intend to attach. The paper should be very thick to disallow fumbling.
  3. Collect stories, photos, memorabilia, and other items. What you have collected must be sorted to the book’s theme.
  4. Use acid-free adhesive to attach the photos to pages. Also, ensure you save other memorabilia items well to prevent damage.
  5. Keep multipurpose in mind. The memory book can, at a later time, serve as a reminiscence book as your loved one’s abilities decline. Therefore, the text should be easily removable and easily affixed back later. That way, you would be able to tailor the book to the needs of your loved one.

Topics that can be used for your Memory Book

  • Family
  • Key Life Events – give dates and describe events
  • Places I’ve Lived – Describe the place (use photo and map)
  • Personality – Things that make them happy
  • Religious/Spiritual
  • Favorite Foods or Recipes
  • Holidays or Favorite Times of the Year
  • Education
  • Awards Received
  • Clubs or Groups
  • Work History
  • Recreational
  • Hobbies
  • Military History
  • Politics
  • Music, Movies, Theatre
  • Reading
  • Animals and Pets
  • Travel – Places visited, maps and photos
  • Transportation

What Digital Memory Books Offer
A digital memory book is another exciting way for your loved one with Alzheimer’s to interact with their memories. You can create a digital book with scanned video, audio, or images using the same topics from above. Photographs of artifacts, awards, memorabilia, and other items can be included.

Memory Boxes
Similar to the Memory Book is a Memory Box. A Memory Box can include anything that leads to reminiscing. It differs from the Book in that it is usually 3-D rather than just pictures and stories. The Box can include things that can be handled and will bring back specific moments for your loved ones. To create Memory Boxes, use plastic storage containers, shoeboxes, jewelry boxes, tackle boxes, etc. – the container you use may depend upon the type of Memory Box you have decided to make. Below are some suggestions for types of Memory Boxes.

  • Personal – this type of Memory Box is tied to the person it will represent.
  • Themed – boxes can be created for everything from individual sports to holidays to hobbies.

Final Thoughts
Since Memory Books retell the story of an individual’s life, your loved ones will stay engaged by reminding themselves of events that happened in their lifetime. A Memory Book can be a helpful tool to both the individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the family. They can be especially helpful as the disease progresses and memory loss increases. The main goal of creating a Memory Book is to share an activity that will be both interesting and stimulating to the person with dementia as well as be rewarding and fulfilling to the caregiver.