Dementia is a condition that gradually takes away people's memories and identity. It's not just one disease; it involves memory loss and thinking problems.
Over time, dementia makes daily life harder, and those affected need constant care. But here's how memory books can make a difference if you’re providing support to a person with dementia.
What Is A Memory Book For Dementia?
Memory books, also known as 'orientation' or 'reminiscence' books, typically contain keepsakes and photos from a person's life. They are created to help loved ones with dementia connect, remember meaningful moments, and make sense of their surroundings.
- Boosting self-esteem and validation
- Highlighting their identity and purpose
- Triggering emotions that aid in recalling memories
- Providing comfort in unfamiliar places
- Enhancing memories of loved ones
- Creating a bridge to the past
There are no strict rules on how to make them, and they can be physical or digital – it's your choice. So, how can you create one?
How To Make A Memory Book
You can buy a ready-made memory book online, but it's just as easy and cheaper to repurpose an exercise book. Once you have your book, think about what to include. Here are some ideas:
- Their daily routine (waking up, outdoor time, meals, etc.)
- Things related to their favourite hobbies
- Pictures and memories of their spouse, wedding
- Their favourite foods and drinks
- Photos from special events and holidays
- Names of siblings
- Medications and doses
- Pictures of previous homes
- Childhood photos
You can make the list as long as you like, including anything that might spark positive memories. Consider what's meaningful to them, and don't forget to add descriptions for each photo to help them remember.
What You Should Avoid When Creating A Memory Book
When completing an aged care course like OCA’s Allied Health Assistance Pathway Course, you’ll learn there are certain things to be careful about when working with dementia patients.
- For example, avoid directly asking, "Do you remember now?" This can cause confusion or sadness if they can't recall something.
- Quizzing or finishing their sentences may seem helpful but should be avoided, as it can upset them.
Instead, let them go through the book at their own pace and wait for them to share their memories. If they remember things differently from reality, try not to correct them.
Why is Dementia Increasing In Australia?
The increase in dementia cases isn't primarily due to its spread but is more related to the ageing population. Australians' average age is rising, and people are living almost three years longer than they did two decades ago.
In 2024, it is estimated more than 421,000 Australians are living with dementia. Without a medical breakthrough, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to more than 812,500 by 2054 (source).
With dementia cases set to increase in the coming decades, we need aged carers more than ever, making it an in-demand and fulfilling career choice.
Check out our Aged Care Career Sampler Course to see if it’s the right choice for you.
Unlock Your Aged Care Career with Online Courses Australia
The Australian aged care industry offers numerous opportunities, including dementia care. OCA provides an easy path to gaining the skills needed for a career change in aged care or for those simply wanting micro-credentials in aged care.
Our video-based, CPD-endorsed short courses online, especially those in our Job Ready Aged Care Bundle, offer a mentally stimulating and advanced learning experience.
Discover why our students consider us the best choice for online courses – including flexible payment plans and the 1-to-1 mentoring included in our extensive course library.
If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to call us at 1300 611 404 or email us at [email protected].
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