A fun activity, bringing one-on-one care down memory lane!

Help your family or friend reminisce about their past while you learn more about them by creating memory boards!

Creating a memory board is a project that incorporates arts and crafts, reminiscing and 1:1 time. Memory boards are a great way to get to know more about your loved one and is a fabulous activity for family members and aged care staff members to get involved with.

Memory Boards are a Person-Centred Activity

Memory Boards are unique for each person. Be sure to ask for your loved one's input each step of the way – from what colour they want their poster board, to what images are included.

How to Incorporate Reminiscing into the Activity

Reminiscing is a fun and engaging activity for seniors, particularly for residents with dementia. Before you get started, ask yourself, is the resident drawn to a specific period?

For example, are they always asking to go home? What home are they referring to i.e., their childhood home? Create a board dedicated to this period of their life. Include pictures of their home (if they have any) or ask specific questions like what colour house was it? Did you get along with your neighbours?

A memory board is a great opportunity to learn more about this time in your loved ones’ life. Learning more about this time of their lives will even allow you to reminisce with them later when they bring it up again.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Tape
  • Scrapbook Material
  • Markers or Sharpies
  • Magazines for clipping 
  • Resident-specific photographs and memorabilia
  • Interview Questions to Ask 

Create a sheet with a list of questions to ask your loved one:

  • Where did you grow up?
  • Did you have a nickname?
  • What is your favourite hobby?
  • What did you do for a living?
  • Where did you get married?
  • What was your first car?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • What significant historical event occurred in your life?

Directions

A Memory Board may take a couple of days to set up and complete. Take time and have fun with this project!

Session One

  • Set up all the supplies around the arts and crafts table.
  • Have them sort through the supplies and choose which they would like to use on their poster board.
  • Keep all their supplies together in a bag or folder with your loved one’s name on them, so that you have easy access to them at the next session.

Session Two

  • Ask which pictures or memorabilia they would like included on the board.
  • With all the supplies gathered, have the them start decorating the board.
  • Once your loved one is happy with the design either glue or tape each item in its place.

Session Three

  • Display the completed boards around the room.
  • Invite residents, family, and staff to see the boards.

As staff and residents get to know each other on a personal level the quality of care improves. It is in encouraging these types of relationships that we can work to bring about culture change.

Invite Family Members to be Involved

Most family members look for ways to stay active in their loved one’s care, but sometimes they don’t know where to begin. Inviting family members to become involved in this project can be a fun bonding experience between them and the resident.

Even family members who live far away can take part in this fun activity! They will no doubt have a ton of pictures they could send you and may even have a funny story they think should be added to the board.

As well, residents who have difficulties communicating or who are not able to answer your questions can still participate in the project if SummitCare staff call up the family to ask them the questions on the interview sheet.

A Fun Activity for All

Creating a Memory Boards is a fun activity that allows residents to shine as individuals. This activity includes arts and crafts, a 1:1 activity, reminiscing and can even be considered as a large group activity.

 

Original author: Molly Wisniewski from Golden Carers.com