Memory jars and boxes are a great way to engage with someone with mild to moderate dementia and prompts them to speak about memories which might be hard for them to access on their own.
The activity of making a jar or even a memory box is also a wonderful way for family to explore their loved one being their old self again. A lot of friends and family of people with dementia often say ‘They were with us again’ and ‘all of a sudden they lit up’.
Things you could put in a Memory Jar or Box:
- Newspaper clippings
- CDs/tapes of favourite songs
- Props from a certain point in time or an outing you went on
- Trip souvenirs
- Tools or items they used to use all the time
- Parts of a musical instrument
- A stuffed animal
- A toy
- A family heirloom
When a person with dementia opens their memory jar, it can promote happy thoughts and emotions of memories in their life as well as give that person something to talk about.
‘They were with us again’ and ‘all of a sudden they lit up’.
So, why make one?
Here’s a few reasons:
- To keep someone with dementia in a positive frame of mind
- To encourage family and friends to continue to visit someone they know living with dementia
- It gives family and friends an opportunity to explore their past and the opportunity for new stories to be told
- To strengthen the bond between family, friends and the person with dementia
- It provides an activity for friends and family, particularly young children and grandchildren, to reconnect with a person with dementia
So why not give it ago and let us know how you get on?