We’ve all had that moment where we’ve been driving and suddenly realized nothing looks familiar. Very quickly, a feeling of confusion and slight panic sets in. Luckily for us, we eventually come upon a landmark – either a sign or intersection that we have seen before – and the panic quickly subsides. For people living with different cognitive impairments, this feeling of unfamiliarity and panic can occur daily. Residents in Long Term Care facilities often get lost in their own homes and can have difficulties locating their rooms. A memory box can help a resident identify which room is theirs, as well as help recall events and people from their past.
Memory boxes should hold items that will bring back happy moments in life, like family photos, newspaper clippings or other props. They help explore fond memories of the past, personal interests, and even their youth. Memory boxes can also inspire conversations with caregivers, children, grandchildren, and resident staff.
When creating memory boxes, the whole family can get to know more about their loved ones. Sometimes special things that families did not realize their loved one still had can be included. Even new interests are sometimes discovered. Items like this are crucial to making memory boxes personal, reflecting the loved one’s interests or a moment in history that was incredibly meaningful to them.
Not only do memory boxes assist people living in Long Term Care facilities, but they also help staff see another side of the person they care for. They may discover some were accomplished artists, professionals and community leaders in their time.
Life is a collection of moments. Those moments become memories that are timeless treasures of the heart. Memory boxes can help people recall those happy moments and, more importantly, remember how each moment made them feel.