• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Dementia Friend

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
I have been to a Dementia Friends meeting at the care home tonight and I am now a dementia friend and my objective is the do a life book for my mum to share her life with the staff and residents of the home who only know her now with dementia. I am happy to do this and will obviously show my mum when it is done but I dont know whether to include the very sad parts of her life, i.e. loss of a son at 3 years old, loss of her husband at 60 and loss of my eldest sister at 50. I dont want it to be traumatic for her. Should I just leave those bits out? I would be very grateful for your opinions. Thanks
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
I'd leave the negative parts out, when you have limited memory then it could be every time she sees the pictures it's like she's seeing it for the first time. You can't do a book like this without pictures of your dad and sister being in there but a child she lost so many years ago may be a bridge too far.
I understand you want to show people her life and the bad times do happen to us all so I'd keep the in but gloss over them a bit, the purpose of what you're doing is to make her happier and sure you have to share the pleasure and some of the pain too. Being widowed at (or before) 60 isn't that unusual so I'd not see any issues with pictures of your dad but there's a sadness that only a parent can know when a child dies before them.
K
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,116
England
My husband has had a memory book for 10 years and at the beginning got a lot of pleasure from it. Now he is well past recognising anyone and it is new carers looking through it and of course we as a family pick it up often just to look through again.

Your book will be looked at by carers and family for years to come so maybe at the stage in the book where her son would have been leave a space for photo and journal and put it in later. If you don't want to leave a space pop another temporary photo in and later when your Mum is past recognising then put in her son's photo. He is part of her life story and part of yours so in the future will be part of her story in the book. As Kevin1 says, leave it out for now especially if you know it will upset her.

I got so much out of doing my husband's memory book and it has been well read during the three years he has been in nursing care. The carers really do like to know what their cared for were like before dementia and what their life was like.
 
Last edited:

Hex

Registered User
May 24, 2014
15
Newcastle Upon Tyne
This is such a good idea. I had the same idea a few weeks ago but more serialised. I collected photos of specific family holidays and events and wrote about them as separate stories. I also got my siblings to add their memories of the occasions too. My mum can pick and choose which ones she fancies looking through. My hope is that she will be prompted to add her own memories.


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Thanks for your comments. Yes I have decided to leave out traumatic bits but obviously photos of my dad and sister will be included as my sister had 4 children and they were a very large part of my mum's life. Serialising sounds like a good idea. Think I'm going to enjoy doing this.