Useful tips when creating a photobook for someone with dementia, Alzheimer’s or memory loss in old age
- The amount of content should vary depending on what stage of the disease the person is in. Less is usually better than more. Too much makes it harder to concentrate on the content.
- The level of detail should also vary. Early stage example: “James’s first day of kindergarten at St John’s junior school in Pietermaritzburg”. Middle Stage example: “James’s first day at St John’s school.” Late Stage example: “James loved school”.
- In the more advanced stages, only have one picture per page. If you are making your book for someone in an early stage and you want to include more photos, then try our Memory Book product.
- Photos help to jog memories. But if you don't have a photo for an event, there may be a picture on the internet you can use (please make sure you have permission - see Help to find out more).
- Scan old photos at 600 dpi and also photograph them with a phone app, e.g. Google’s PhotoScan app, and select the better outcome.
- There are optional captions for the images. Include these where you feel some information about the image will be useful for carers when talking through the book with the person suffering from memory loss. Delete where they are not necessary.
- Consider writing information in the first person (My first day at school / I loved school).
- It can be rewarding involving the person in the creation of their book, depending on whether they find this stressful e.g. choosing photos, asking about favourite memories etc.
- Consider including what is so special to you about them. Also consider including useful facts e.g. daily routine / what I like to eat.
- Plan out which memories and life moments you want to include. It is probably best to do this in chronological order.
- The book length includes 17 double pages of content (34 individual pages), an editable introduction page and the publisher's page. It works well if you include a topic per double page (spread), though you can include a topic per page. Spare pages can be used for photos, which can be added now or stuck in by hand later. You can add up to 6 more spreads.
Top Tips to avoid mistakes:
Use word or another program with a spellcheck to generate all your text to avoid spelling errors or typos.
Zoom in so you can see all text clearly. You get a better result if you use the + and – buttons on the top left of the screen rather than your keyboard Ctrl + or –
Some ideas for what to include in the Dementia Memory Book
- Pictures of family members: children, brothers, sisters etc
- Pictures of friends
- Childhood pictures / school days
- Wedding day, christenings etc
- Workplaces, work colleagues
- Important life events, awards received, etc
- Favourite music
- Favourite places visited / holidays
- What makes you so special
- Daily routine / what I like to eat
What some of our customers have to say:
“Excellent service. The whole family are overjoyed with our memory book. Mum has dementia and she is at her happiest looking at precious memories. Highly recommended.” Lorraine
“My Grandpa is Amazing. Book is beautifully made. Thank you.” Amy
“My dad is in the latter stages of prostate cancer and we have been told 'not years'. So we decided as a family we wanted to give him a birthday present that would share our love rather than waiting to the funeral where he wouldn't be!. I couldn't find many platforms that allowed copy as well as pictures - memory books was great. My dad said it was “The best present I have ever had, lovely to hear all of those things before I die." For me, I am just delighted.” Lin Proctor, proud daughter of Dr Barry Windsor
“I completed this book for a close family member who has dementia. I added lots of family photos, I added mostly pictures and less words as I felt this was a better option for the person I was completing the book for. You can however add text if you want to. I did take pictures of very old family photos and they turned out better than I expected. I chose to group family members together on double pages, so it was easier for the person receiving the book, it helps to make the family connections. The quality of the book is incredible, it feels really robust and that's a huge bonus, the quality of the paper is very high and so makes your pictures really stand out. You have different backgrounds you can chose from and this makes your book look really professional. Customer service is fabulous! I gave the book to my family member on their 80th birthday, without a doubt it was the best gift they received….We have shown various family members photos of their pages and everyone loved the book...I will be back making more books in the future. I highly recommend Memory Books.” Kerry