Poignant smells, familiar tunes, cherished objects and heart-warming stories have the power to summon memories from deep within, even for someone experiencing memory loss. Capturing and leveraging memories that trigger an emotional response can effectively help manage the behaviors of someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

A woman laughs recalling happy memories.

Memories of “When I was young…” and photos of yesteryear also open a portal to the past where family members and friends can relive special moments together. Taking a trip down memory lane generates a warmth of familiarity and comfort—feelings particularly welcome in someone with dementia—and helps ensure that person’s contribution to the family’s history remains intact. The resources you’ll find in this section offer ideas and best practices for evoking memories to benefit a family member with dementia.

Articles

Capturing Memories for Someone with Alzheimer’s

Capturing and preserving memories for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can happen in a number of ways. It might entail turning on a favorite 1940s big band hit, spreading photos out on the coffee table, intentionally creating a list of questions to ask, and sitting down… Read More

Tips for Talking to Someone with Alzheimer’s

“Most days Mom just sat in her armchair in front of the TV with a glazed look in her eyes. I tried to perk her up by talking about what was on the news or what I was cooking for dinner, but she didn’t seem interested. With her Alzheimer’s, I’m not even… Read More

Create a Memory Box to Help Trigger Memories

Tom felt the weight of a baseball gripped in his sweaty palm from inside the thick leather fold of his baseball glove, and suddenly he was back on the pitcher’s mound. He took the ball in his other hand, running his thumb across the red laces and saw it flying… Read More

Music and Memories

A drum beat, a guitar strum, a melody, a song. A toe tap, a finger snap, and soon you’re humming along. Music can move us emotionally and physically without us having to even think about it. Its power to reach past the mind and touch the soul has a soothing… Read More

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