An effective memory box can be a great way to help a person living with dementia recall positive memories, and can also combat agitation and upset.

When creating a memory box the aim is to help conjure up memories that can get a conversation started and bring smiles to both your faces.

The most effective memory boxes are filled with items of real significance to the person living with dementia. 

To start putting a memory box together think about topics that the person recalls most strongly. These could include a holiday destination, somewhere they used to work or a key family event, such as a wedding or special birthday party.

Collect together keepsakes, familiar objects and images related to these topics and add captions and tags as memory prompts. 

Think about including a range of items, from treasured ornaments to meaningful pieces of clothing, a child’s artwork, certificates, music that can be played or a newspaper clipping.

Different materials, textures, sounds and smells can all inspire memories but avoid anything sharp, heavy or difficult to handle.

The most important thing to remember when creating a memory box is that every item should be personal to the individual, be guided by their interests and strongest, happiest memories.

Rob Martin is Anchor’s Head of Care Quality

Download our free guide to supporting a loved one with dementia here.

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