Memory Boxes Link Residents to Their Past

At The Palace Gardens, a senior living community in Homestead offering assisted living and memory care, memory boxes – located at the entrance to each resident’s apartment – are used to inspire conversation with caregivers, children or grandchildren.

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According to Alzheimers.net, an online community dedicated to advocacy, education and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, memory boxes “can link [someone experiencing dementia] to their identity…and can stir thoughts of happy moments in life.”

At The Palace Gardens, the memory boxes have numerous benefits. They can help caregivers learn about the residents’ interests and hobbies which sparks conversation. The memory boxes may also provide insights into someone’s life before their memory suffered, which helps staff see beyond Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Additionally, they help residents identify their apartments.

“Families find the memory boxes an exciting project to undertake on behalf of their loved ones when they are moving to the community. One of our residents is a retired pilot who lived abroad and spoke four languages. His daughters created his memory box with a small model airplane signifying his career, used a double-decker bus to recall his years in England and included a figurine of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, representing his years in Brazil,” said memory care activity director Jennifer Almodovar CTRS. “We’re also here to help if residents either don’t have family close by or simply need assistance.” According to Almodovar, in The Palace Gardens’ assisted living community, residents living on the third floor seem to be a just bit competitive with their memory boxes and personal shelf ledges.

“They have a lot of community spirit and love showing off their talents and grandchildren and great- grands,” she said. “You’ll find beautiful floral arrangements or a piece of sculpture on a ledge while their memory boxes hold fascinating family photos, newspaper clippings, and props. It’s so important that residents feel this is their home and they have the opportunity to make a personal statement at the entrance of their residence.”

To learn more about The Palace Gardens, please call 305-247-0446.