Around 10 years ago my Grandad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and as a family, who didn’t have much experience of the disease, it was a huge shock to us all how quickly and severely it took hold. My Grandad sadly passed away 6 years ago now and it was devastating for all of us. Not long before he died, he went to be cared for in a care home and when he did, my Nanna made a photo album full of memories for him of their life together, fun times with us as children and happier times. It really made a difference as he would smile at each picture as if he recognised the people in them and remembered those happy times together. I know how important memories are for people with any kind of dementia and if my Grandad had still been alive when my girls were born, we would have most definitely done some kind of memory box for him from them.
Active Minds, who design and create activities for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, contacted me last month to see if I would like to create a memory box to store the great memories that we are making all the time. Their aim is to improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s by creating products that are engaging and have purpose to them. Some of the things they produce include Dementia friendly jigsaw puzzles and games and Reminiscence Cards designed to prompt conversations around peoples most fond memories.
I decided that since Mia has just become a big sister, I would help her to create a memory box full of things we did before Lottie was born and how she became a sibling. We were sent a box full of craft things to decorate our box with and record our memories; from tubes of glitter to pretty stickers, sticky letters to stamps. There was everything we needed to create the perfect box of little family’s memories.
Mia wanted to draw some pictures showing the important things that are happening in our family at the moment so she drew a picture showing her trips with daddy to the park and the very first time she met Lottie and held her! We also decided to add into the box itself, some mementos of days out we have been on and enjoyed together. Mia has really enjoyed creating and decorating this box and we will have a lot of fun adding to it over the next few months! It’s lovely to think that she has now got something she can treasure for the future and look back on when she’s a bit older.
The idea of the memory box is great as it means that whether you are creating it for a poorly loved one or just to record events and experiences at home, in years to come it will be lovely to look back on and remember things that are sometimes easily forgotten in the craziness of life!
Disclaimer: we were sent the craft box in order to create a memory box to write this review however all opinions and views are honest and our own.