What are memory boxes and what can they mean to ladies and gents living with a Dementia?
They hold a lifetime of memories and tell the stories of peoples’ lives.
They help to find the way home.
They are a safe place, bringing comfort and calm amidst chaos.
They give back lost identity and warm feelings of familiarity of the treasured belongings they contain, and evoke memories of happy life moments.
They inspire meaningful conversation, stimulate communication and strengthen bonds with loved ones and carers through the discovery of life stories.
They create smiles and laughter through reminiscing about what’s inside, and powerfully impact health and well being.
They help to break down defences and build confidence through recognition of personal possessions.
They can be a peaceful sunny day at a fishing lake, an afternoon standing on the terraces at United or a treasured family holiday building sandcastles on the beach.
From family photos to holiday souvenirs and favourite recipes, memory boxes hold precious keepsakes which help trigger existing memories. They also help make new memories as they inspire conversations with caregivers, family members and loved ones.
Placed outside ladies and gents’ bedrooms they help with navigation of what can be a confusing and bewildering environment, as personal belongings are a reminder of home. We're featuring a few real examples here so you can see what's been created by our customers for those in their care.
A nurse told us about the impact a memory box had had for one of her residents, Jean:
“Jean’s memory box empowered her to become independent again. Now she can find her own room she smiles again and is no longer angry, frightened or anxious. It’s been a huge boost to her confidence, dignity and well-being.” How amazing is that?
Another nurse working at Sandridge House speaks about her experience with memory boxes
“We have had great response from our residents themselves as well as their relatives. I am in the Activities Department and often use memory boxes as a reminiscing aid as well as the residents looking at them of their own accord when they enter or leave their bedrooms. They are a great way to display pictures from the past or present and have enough room in them to place any special knick-knacks or treasured possessions.”
These extraordinary boxes are practical and attractive tools providing numerous benefits including:
1. Improving environmental navigation and orientation.
2. Stimulating engaging conversations.
3. Providing care givers with valuable insight into an individual’s life history.
4. Reinforcing confidence through the treasured personal possessions they contain.
5. Creating an attractive point of interest.
Memory boxes provide great opportunities for meaningful activity when they are brought to life together as a project with ladies and gents, their loved ones and carers all having valuable contribution to help capture the most important parts of lives.
We would love to hear your stories, and get pictures, of how memory boxes have improved the lives of the ladies and gents you support. Please leave your comments below.
Not using memory boxes yet? We recommend investing in a memory box for anyone who is living with a dementia and they are particularly useful for people who are moving into or have recently moved into a care home, to help them immediately establish a valuable landmark in their new home and to quickly build rapport with new carers.
Why not check out our range of beautifully crafted wooden memory boxes - available in beech, cherry and oak, More information about these and our other reminiscence aids can be found on our website.
Finally, what would you put in your own memory box and why?