Making a 'Memory Box' can be a very fulfilling and enjoyable activity, completed over days or weeks and updated on a regular basis.
Benefits of having a 'Memory Box' include:
- It can help with personal reminiscence and to fill in gaps in memory and recall.
- It can provide a bridge to communication with family and friends and provide the basis for meaningful activity.
- It can help convey 'personhood' to others such as care staff and help personalise care.
(A physical 'Memory Box' should complement the 'Getting To Know Me: Personal Communication Form' available elsewhere in this website.)
Contents of a 'Memory Box'
Contents should obviously vary according to personal wishes and preferences. Every 'Memory Box', as every person, will be unique. But as a general guide if you included these things you wold have the basis of a great personalised resource. Indeed, a 'treasure trove' of memories.
- 'This Is My Life' photo album. Include treasured photos (or copies) from each decade of life.
- Make sure to include a 'My Loved Ones' section.
- Also to label contents.
- 'My Favourite Things'. Include multi sensory items such as favourite single and album (sound), photos of favourite food and drinks (taste), favourite perfume or aftershave (smell), favourite movie or TV show (sight) and favourite objects from around the house (touch).
- 'Other Important Mementoes'. Include anything and everything (that will fit in the box) that the person chooses. It could be a framed picture, a medal, a retirement card, a hat or scarf or a dog's lead. Whatever is meaningful to the person.
- 'Treats & Sweets'. Include (and keep topped up so the 'Memory Box' is regularly look at) favourite bag of sweets, make up, mirror, hand cream, etc. Anything that makes the person feel 'more themselves'.
Has anyone got any more tips or tricks regarding contents?
Right, I've ordered my 'Memory Box' from Amazon - see above. And over the next few weeks I'm going to share my 'Making My Memory Box' story with you. It will be an interesting learning opportunity for me, as well as you hopefully.
Right, I've chosen my 'Memory Box' lid cover photo. It's me wearing my Kate Bush t-shirt. Ideally, I would also be holding a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and cuddling my doggo 'Narla' 😎
I just ordered my photo album, again off 'Amazon' (other providers are available).
I chose this one, checking size to make sure it fits in my 'Memory Box', because it has a 100 photo limit (50 single sided) AND it has space for you to write captions, which I think is pretty much an essential prerequisite.
So my stuff arrived. (Thanks 'Amazon'!) First step is sorting through my 'Early Years & Family Life' photos.
Next steps are, I think 'Twenties & Thirties' (I wasn't one who enjoyed my school days so much).
Then probably 'My Career'.
Finally, 'My Important Relationships', including my husband Ade, my best friends & our beautiful doggies.
Might include something on 'Best Holidays & Favourite Places' as well.
That's the great thing about making your own 'This Is My Life' photo album. There's no rules over what to include and it seems to evolve naturally.
So today it was time to cobble together my 'Working Life' chapter of my 'Memory Box'. My training certificate, my different role badges, some photos of project work along the way, a copy of my book and the magazine I edited. Finally, my MBE and some other bits and bobs, including my retirement card. A lovely morning of reminiscence!
Next chapters will be 'Life & Loves' and 'Things That Make Me Happy', I think? It's an evolving project!!!
PS Wish I'd got a bigger 'Memory Box'!