Memories may become harder to connect to as we age. Reminiscing can often bring back memories, return us to happy or important times in our lives and help us to chat about the ‘olden’ days.
Moran Aged Care Homes have started a project involving residents’ family members who have been tasked with creating a ‘Memory Box’ for their loved one as a link to the past. Filled with treasured mementos, the box can help draw out their loved one’s fondest memories and reconnect them to their interests and identity.
Creating a Memory Box is a fun project and something the whole family can get involved in. It might even be a special gift for the person who has everything. It involves gathering objects or pictures relating to their loved one’s past; an old postcard, newspaper clipping, shell, a cotton spool, their favourite recipe, nuts and bolts, an old perfume bottle…the possibilities are endless. The items should be ones that will arouse memories and create wonderful opportunities to reminisce; objects to touch and hold, smell or hear can all be used. Using a Memory Box can help stimulate conversation and because it contains items of specific meaning it is highly likely to capture their interest.
“A Memory Box is not only a good way for families to connect but also provides opportunities for our team members to get to know residents better and understand some of their life experiences. Their life stories are fascinating and give us a great deal of insight into their individuality. It is particularly therapeutic to use the Memory Box if a resident is feeling anxious or unsettled and for those living with dementia” said Jennifer Dempsey, Moran Aged Care Chief Operating Officer.
“The best tip of all is, don’t put it off! Make a Memory Box as soon as possible, when your loved one’s memory is still at its sharpest and they can tell you the stories behind the objects. Who doesn’t love a walk down memory lane?”
For comprehensive tips on the types of mementos to include and how to bring them all together, DOWNLOAD A FACT SHEET HERE.
YouTube also has a number of handy videos about making memory boxes – click here for our suggested playlist
Moran resident Evelyn sees her Memory Box for the first time – this is what it contains