Alzheimer’s Awareness Month 2023
Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behaviour. It is the most common cause of Dementia, a general term for a decline in cognitive ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s Awareness Month serves as a platform to educate the public about the disease. Many misconceptions and stigmas surround Alzheimer’s, which can make it difficult for those affected to receive the support and understanding they need.
Caregivers, often family members, play a crucial role in the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s Awareness Month acknowledges their hard work, resilience, and the challenges they face daily. Increased awareness can lead to more funding for Alzheimer’s research. Scientists are making strides in understanding the disease, but there’s still much work to be done in finding effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure.
Progress has been made in the development of biomarkers and imaging techniques that can detect Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages. Early detection is crucial for timely intervention and treatment.
Take some time to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, its symptoms, risk factors, and available resources. Knowledge is a powerful tool in breaking down stereotypes and fostering empathy.
Support Alzheimer’s Organisations
Many organisations, such as the Alzheimer’s Society, work tirelessly to raise awareness, fund research, and provide support to those affected by Alzheimer’s.
Oakland Care Memory Care
If you know someone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, offer your support. Even small gestures like providing respite care, running errands, or simply being there to listen can make a significant impact. Here at Oakland Care, we have many residents who receive memory care from us and as our care is person centred, we tailor our activities to suit each resident’s needs. One of our residents’, families, and carers favourite memory – related activities is creating a memory box together. Have a read below of how we do this and maybe you could create one too with a friend or relative affected by Alzheimer’s.
Creating a memory box for a person with Alzheimer’s can be a thoughtful and meaningful way to help them reminisce about their past and engage their memory.
Memory boxes are typically filled with items and memorabilia that hold special significance to the individual. Here are the steps to create a memory box:
- Choose a Suitable Container:
Select a sturdy and easily accessible container. A wooden box, a decorative basket, or a plastic storage container with a lid are all good options. Make sure it’s easy to open and close.
- Gather Materials:
Collect materials you’ll need, including items for the memory box and supplies for labelling and decorating. Here are some ideas for items to include:
– Photographs: Old family photos, pictures from the person’s past, and images of loved ones. Label them with names and dates.
– Personal documents: Include important documents, such as a copy of their birth certificate, marriage certificate, or other significant papers.
– Letters and cards: Include old letters, postcards, and greeting cards that may evoke memories.
– Small keepsakes: Add small objects like jewellery, trinkets, or mementos that have sentimental value.
– Familiar scents: Consider including items with distinct scents, like a piece of clothing or a sachet of dried flowers, to trigger memories.
– Music and audio recordings: Include CDs, playlists, or audio recordings of their favourite songs or voices of loved ones.
– Written memories: Include a journal or notebook where you or others can write down memories, anecdotes, or messages for the person with Alzheimer’s.
- Organise and Label:
Arrange the items in the memory box in a logical order or theme. Label items with names, dates, and brief descriptions to help the person understand the significance of each item.
- Decorate the Box:
Personalise the container with the person’s name or a meaningful design. You can use paint, markers, stickers, or even decoupage to decorate the box.
- Share and Engage:
Present the memory box to the person with Alzheimer’s in a calm and relaxed setting. Take your time to explore the contents together. Encourage them to touch, smell, and interact with the items. Share stories and memories associated with the objects.
- Regularly Update:
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, and memories may change over time. Update the memory box periodically with new items and memories to keep it fresh and engaging.
- Keep It Accessible:
Store the memory box in an easily accessible location, so the person can revisit it whenever they wish. It can provide comfort and a sense of connection with their past.
Creating a memory box can be a beautiful way to connect with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s and help them preserve their sense of self and history. It can also be a valuable tool for caregivers and family members to engage with the individual and create positive interactions.
Discover more about our Memory Care at Oakland Care