Alzheimer’s Awareness Month comes each November when families gather together for Thanksgiving. That time together often shines a light on loved ones struggling with memory loss.
Over 5 million Americans suffer from this form of dementia as it ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the most common form of dementia in 60-80% of all diagnosed cases.
Some members of your family may suffer from Alzheimer’s or other memory challenges. Sometimes, it may appear they are not entering into family discussions of days gone by.
READ: 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia
A great part of our personal identities comes from knowing where we are on the timeline of our lives. When you start to lose your memory, you start to lose your sense of yourself. It has been proven that visual aids can help stimulate memories, and Mixbook, #1 in photobooks, shares tips on using photos to help loved ones remember.
MAKE IT PERSONAL or STAY CONNECTED
Choose photos from your loved one’s life to help keep them engaged in the present moment. Friends and family members will bring a smile to their faces as they recognize treasured connections – even better when you can show them photos in person!
USE LABELS & ANNOTATIONS
Eyesight is often affected in Alzheimer’s patients, so make sure to use large fonts and simple labels, and include names and locations. Mixbook allows photobooks to be fully customized, so you can create a story that’s unique!
KEEP TO A TIMELINE
Sticking to a chronological timeline will help your loved one follow along, and retain a sense of belonging through the awareness of their life story.
SMILES ARE CONTAGIOUS
If it’s possible to get a photo of your loved one smiling, place it at the front of the album. When you see a photo of yourself smiling, you often instinctively smile back, which elicits a feeling of happiness!
Holidays can be a time when loved ones struggling with the effects of memory loss feel included. A little thoughtful planning, and pulling out the photo albums, can go a long way.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice