There are more than 3 million cases of dementia reported in the U.S. per year.
Though many believe it's a disease, it's actually a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking, and social abilities.
Everyone who suffers from dementia deals with it differently, but there are ways to improve the day to day life of those individuals who experience the symptoms. One of which is through the use of a memory book.
Keep reading to learn what a memory book is and how to create one for a loved one who's dealing with the effects of dementia.
The Purpose of a Memory Book
A memory book is essentially a scrapbook of an individual's most important life moments, such as their birth, first job, marriage, etc. But there are a variety of other things that can be put into one, as well.
Places they've lived, notes about their spirituality, recipes of their favorite foods, and much more can be put into these booklets.
They're meant to serve as a reminder of all the things the individual with dementia has done thus far, what they love, and even help them recall the type of person they were throughout life.
It also serves the purpose of helping you discover what they like and dislike, making it easier to come up with activities to do with your loved one suffering from dementia.
How to Make a Memory Book
What goes inside a memory book will be different for every individual, nor is there a right or wrong way to creating one yourself.
You can do it on your own or you can gather some of the supplies we recommend below and follow the tutorials, too.
It all depends on what you feel is best for you and your loved one with dementia.
If you're looking to get crafty with your memory book, here are some supplies you should have:
Something to keep the memories in (either a physical book or binder, or even a digital space to store it all)
Construction paper (can be all different colors, prints, sizes, etc.)
Tape, glue, scissors, pens, markers, etc.
Family photos, tokens from past events, anything else that should be put into the book
Remember, just about anything can go into a memory book, but try to include things that conjure up fond memories for the one utilizing it.
Memory Book Tutorials
To help you put your memory book together, we've rounded up some video tutorials on just what to do.
This video goes over what to add to the MindStart This Is My Life memory book.
In this tutorial, a grandmother works with her granddaughters and great-granddaughters to put together a memory book for her life. It just goes to show it's more fun when you get others involved.
If you're looking to get really crafty with your memory book, this is the tutorial for you.
Where to Buy a Memory Book
Handcrafting a memory book from scratch isn't for everyone. Thankfully, there are plenty of memory books that exist and are available for purchase.
The Memory Activity Book: Practical Projects to Help With Memory Loss and Dementia: $7
Dementia care specialist Helen Lambert created step-by-step ideas designed to stimulate and entertain those whose suffer from memory loss. The book is filled with all types of activities, so there's sure to be something your loved one will enjoy.
The Memory Book: For Dementia, Stroke, and Traumatic Brain Injury: $5.85
This book serves as a practical guide to helping those suffering with dementia, stroke or traumatic brain injury. It features a variety of proven approaches that'll help lessen the severity of the symptoms.
Memory and Communication Aids for People With Dementia: $39.99
Filled to the brim with resources, this book serves the purpose in aiding those who are the primary caretakers of those with dementia. You'll find visual, written, and electronic memory aids to improve communication, independence, and quality of life for people with dementia.
Connecting Memories: 7.95
Connecting Memories is actually a coloring and activity book for those with dementia. It may not be filled with their memories, but coloring a house that looks like theirs will help them remember bits and pieces of their lives.
Things to Keep in Mind
While a memory book is a rather harmless aid for someone with dementia, it can conjure up negative memories, too. Be careful about what is put into it, so as not to upset anyone.
And though they are fun, they may not work for everyone, nor do they have the same effects on those who utilize them.