Take a trip down memory lane
Scrapbooks and display cases are excellent tools for triggering positive memories and facilitating engagement. To create them, gather pictures and items your loved one cherishes. Subjects may include:
- Friends and family
- Professional items
- Holidays and travel
Include descriptive captions to help jog your loved one's memory. Make sure the captions are simple and written in large, easy-to-read type. The best pictures and items to include are those that were relevant before your loved one’s memory began to decline. For those with memory loss, mementos like these are the easiest to recognise. These memories are a healthy source of pride. You can encourage this feeling through the simple act of sitting with your loved one and asking about the various images and items.
Every Sunrise suite has a ‘memory box’ display case outside the door, personalised with photos and mementos that are important to the resident and their family.
Music and memory
Both anecdotal evidence and scientific research make it clear that music plays an important role in dementia care.
Music stimulates the mind
Some of the best dementia care approaches tap into the retained abilities of someone with memory loss, focusing on their strengths rather than their losses. Music can also be a bridge that helps carers reach a loved one who is no longer able to communicate with words.
Music energises the body
Music with a tempo that matches the pace of exercise helps raise energy levels and makes repetitive exercises more enjoyable. Also, singing can increase the flow of oxygen in the body, which improves alertness, motor control and coordination.
Music nurtures the spirit
Most people would agree that music affects mood. It may even help to reduce pain. Research indicates that music can help to ease the symptoms of depression by up to 25% and reduce pain by up to 21%.
Certain aspects of caring such as assisting your loved one with personal care, especially in the bathroom, can be particularly challenging. Incorporating favourite songs or pieces of music can make the tasks more enjoyable for both the carer and person with living with memory loss.
Music is a strong component of the activity programmes that operate in Sunrise dementia neighbourhoods, separate home environments specially designed for those living with memory loss.