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February 20, 2018

Making a Memory Box for a Senior with Alzheimer’s

A memory box is a box filled with small items that spur the memory of an Alzheimer’s patient about a certain time or event. Because of the way Alzheimer’s progresses, a memory box can be important in the later stages of the disease when family caregivers will need to rely more on touch and other senses to create meaningful activities and as ways to communicate. A memory box can also be an excellent way for family members and elder care providers to start a conversation with the person.

If you’d like to make a memory box for an aging family member with Alzheimer’s, here are some tips to get you started.

Pick the Right Box

A memory box should be small enough to set comfortably in a person’s lap or on a table beside them. A shoe box or a similarly sized plastic container should work. You can keep the box very simple, or you can make it more visually appealing for the elder adult by decorating it. If you choose to decorate the box, make sure you attach decorations securely and choose things that will be safe if the older adult should pull them off the box.

Choosing Memory Box Items

The items placed in a memory box should be familiar to the older adult so that they trigger memories of a time, place, or event. Pick items that are small and easy to handle, and that are linked to happy memories. Don’t include any items that could be a safety risk. Also, if an item is irreplaceable, it might be wise to leave it out.

Consider a Themed Box

Memory boxes don’t always have to be about a time or event from the person’s life. You can also create a box that reflects one of their interests. For example, if your family member enjoys being outside, you could create a nature box. Fill it with things like small rocks, leaves, pinecones, and dried flowers. Or, if the person loves animals, you could fill a box with some plastic animals, a dog collar, pictures of animals, or small stuffed animals. Pictures of family pets may also trigger memories.

An elder care provider can assist a senior in the early stages of Alzheimer’s to create a memory box. They can help decorate the box and choose proper and safe items. An elder care provider can also use a memory box to calm an agitated Alzheimer’s patient by distracting them with familiar items. Elder care providers can also use memory boxes as stimulating activities to help prevent boredom.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Chicago Heights IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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