The Importance of a Collective Memoir

The Importance of a Collective Memoir

Remembering Together: The Importance of a Collective Memoir

What is a Collective Memoir?

It is a compilation of moments, stories, and events of a lifetime to be consulted repeatedly by the person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia and their family members.

The book can be adapted over time and is an activity that has all the ingredients to be extremely rewarding for the person with dementia.

Why Should you build a Collective memoir?

Although the memory of recent events (short-term memory) can be difficult, many people with dementia can easily recall past events (long-term memory).

A memoir rests on long-term memory, emphasizing what the person can remember.

A Collective memoir is a precious tool for maintaining general well-being, promotes communication, and gives confidence and stability.

It can be used to tell stories and interact with grandchildren. It can be a valuable tool for the clinical team when there is a change of context, such as hospitalization or part of the therapeutic intervention plan.

The book should always Independently built on its own. The level of involvement of the person with dementia in the memoir’s construction should not be underestimated.

It is important to find time to build the book together as a family. This activity can be incredibly stimulating and meaningful.

How to build a Collective Of “Memories” book?

There is no standard format for the construction of these books.

Stories become exciting when illustrated with copies of photographs and documents such as maps, certificates, postcards, tickets to significant events, and more. If there is an object of great significance to the person, for example, a watch, you can photograph it and insert that image in the book.

Always take advantage of the person’s own words to caption a photograph or another image.

Use practical tips to help you build a Book of Collective Memories or Memoir.

1. Layout a timeline to help you organize information.

2. Some common themes are birthplace, stories of parents and siblings, childhood memories, school, first job, marriage, and children’s birth.

3. It can include other significant and striking moments, such as a period of war. Explore additional topics of interest such as the places where you lived or visited, styles of clothing or hairstyles, favorite food, hobbies, among many others.

4. Always choose with the person (or family members) the material to include in the memoir: copy of photographs, maps, documents, spoken memories, and whatever else creativity can remember.

5. Captions visual information with short words and phrases.

6. Use a clear font, minimum size 14, and pay attention to backgrounds that should be simple to not cause visual distractions.

7. Finally, don’t put too much information per page. Keep it simple, keep it clean.

We can help you develop a collective memoir project, talk to us.

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Memoirs, Personal Journals and the Scribes of Memory

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