When your friend or a family member has developed dementia, it’s completely understandable that you’ll want to go above and beyond to support them. Visual aids can be one of the best methods of doing this as it helps take your loved one back through their cherished memories.
Reminding them of their past will help to stimulate their brain and work to give both their memory and cognitive function a boost. By using pictures as visual aids, you’ll also help them to feel more like themselves, supporting them in retaining sentimental moments of joy while also engaging in the present.
If you’re looking to use photographs to support loved ones with dementia, here are our top tips.
Create a unique photo album
Working with your loved one to create their own, personalised photo album is a great way to engage with them. For those with dementia, pictures can be a fantastic reminiscent activity to enjoy as it encourages them to share moments of their past.
Order the photo album chronologically, starting with images of them in their youth, going through the locations, memories and people they’ve met up to the present day. This will support them in processing how individual people may have changed, as well as place people who have only recently come into their life.
Enlarge images and add captions
When creating the photo album with your loved one, be sure to enlarge the images to make it easy for them to view and process. Also, include captions for each photo. These can include everything from the date and the names of who is in the picture, to more detailed information such as why the photo was taken and what specific memory it holds.
Encourage ongoing photo taking
Now that you’ve created a photo album for your loved one, there’s no reason for you not to keep adding to it. Encourage them to keep taking pictures by giving them a camera to use. This will help them to capture moments of happiness and the people they meet.
Your loved one’s capability to keep taking pictures will vary from day to day and may depend on their stage of dementia. However, there are plenty of options for them to explore. For example, small digital cameras can be small and easy to carry, while polaroid cameras offer simplicity. You can also ask the people with whom your loved ones spend the most time to take the images for them, whether this is a carer or a friend.
Explore scrapbooking too
Scrapbooking can be another great way to engage visual aids and support your loved one in stimulating their mind. This can be particularly effective for those in later stages too. This is because it offers a range of memories, colours and textures for them to explore.
If your loved one needs additional support, Portland Nursing Home in Buxton can provide specialist nursing care that will support them in staying stimulated and healthy.
Based in Derbyshire, our care team maintain a daily roster of activities and curate a safe, supportive environment that’s ideal for older people with dementia needs.
If you’re interested in hearing more about Portland Nursing Home, our team would be happy to talk to you. Contact us on 01298 23040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org