What is a memory book?

Memories are an important part of our lives. They help us connect with our past, preserve our legacy, and provide comfort and joy in the present. However, for people living with dementia, preserving memories can become a significant challenge. Memory loss and cognitive decline can make it difficult to remember important events, people, and places. 

A memory book is a personalised collection of mementos, photos, and stories that document the life and memories of an individual. It can serve as a valuable tool for people with dementia to help them remember, reminisce and connect with their past.

Here we provide personalised and creative memory book ideas for people with dementia. We hope this information helps you create a wonderful memory book which can serve as a source of comfort and joy for you and your loved ones.

What are the Benefits of Memory Books? 

Creating your own dementia or Alzheimer’s memory book offers a range of benefits for people with dementia and their families. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Remember and reminiscence the past: Memory books can help people with dementia remember important events, people, and places from their past. This can help them reminisce and promote conversation, leading to a sense of connection with their history and loved ones.
  • Reduces anxiety and depression: People with dementia and their families may face challenging moments and strong emotions such as anxiety or depression. Memory books can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, reducing feelings of isolation and boosting mood.
  • Encourages communication: Memory books can serve as a starting point for conversations between people with dementia and their families. They can encourage positive communication and strengthen relationships.
  • Provides a sense of purpose: Creating a memory book can provide people with dementia with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It can also serve as a meaningful activity for families to engage in together.

What You’ll Need to Get Started 

When creating a memory book, keep in mind that it’s not just about preserving memories, but also about fostering a sense of connection and engagement with the person’s past. By including their favourite memories, stories, and mementoes, you can create a tool that provides comfort and joy for them.

Here’s everything you need to create your own memory book:

  • A scrapbook or photo album: Choose a scrapbook or photo album that is easy to handle and has enough space to hold all the items you want to include.
  • Photos: Gather photos of family members, friends, and significant events throughout their life.
  • Mementoes: Collect mementoes such as ticket stubs, postcards, letters, and other items that hold special memories for the individual.
  • Art supplies: Use art supplies such as coloured pens, markers, stickers, and other fun embellishments to decorate and personalise the memory book.
  • Writing materials: Include writing materials such as pens, pencils, and paper to write down stories and memories associated with the photos and mementoes.
  • Glue or tape: You’ll need a method of sticking your photos and mementoes to the pages.  
  • Optional: A device to record sound, a mobile phone or camera and a scanner. 

How to Create a Memory Book for Dementia 

Creating a memory book for someone with dementia can be a valuable tool for reminiscing, promoting communication and enhancing relationships. By following these tips, you can create your own meaningful memory book that your loved one will treasure for years to come.

‘Interview’ Your Loved One

Start by interviewing your loved one and asking them about their life, their favourite memories, and the people and places that hold special meaning for them. Your memory book should be tailored to the history and preferences of the person you are creating it for, so be sure to find out what is meaningful to them about their past. Use these conversations as a starting point for creating a list of memories to include in the memory book.

Words of Reassurance 

As you create your memory book, it’s important to include words of reassurance that may help ease any anxieties or fears your loved one may be experiencing. Consider writing notes of encouragement or messages of love and support throughout the memory book.

Handwriting can be a powerful tool for people with dementia, as it can help them connect with their memories and emotions. Consider including handwritten notes or letters from family members and friends or encourage your loved one to write their own thoughts and memories in the book.

Consider the Best Memories to Include

Choose the memories that your loved one is most likely to connect with and remember. Consider including photos, stories, and mementoes that will resonate with them and spark happy memories.

Be careful of including photos that may be painful or trigger unpleasant memories in your loved one. For instance, photos of family members that have passed away may be painful for the person to experience. This does not mean that you should not include them, but rather carefully consider first whether such photos will have a positive impact on your loved one. 

Personalise your memory book by focusing only on photos and memories that you believe will trigger happy memories, nostalgia and joy.

Gather Important Photos and Documents

Gather photos, documents, and mementoes that reflect the memories you’ve chosen to include. Consider reaching out to family members and friends for additional photos and stories that can enhance your memory book.

At times you may want to add sentimental or fun captions to your photos. But it can also be important to let unbiased photos trigger their own memories in your loved one. 

Try Adding Voice Recordings

Incorporate voice recordings of your loved one’s stories and memories to add an extra layer of depth and connection to your memory book. Consider asking family and friends to share their own special stories or memories. You can use a digital recorder or a smartphone to capture these recordings.

Try a Memory Book Service

If you prefer a more streamlined approach to creating a memory book, consider using an online memory book service. These services offer pre-designed templates and prompts to help guide you through the process. Some popular services include Mixbook, Shutterfly, and Legacy Republic.


There are no rules when it comes to making a memory book for your loved one – you know them best and what is appropriate for them. Just take your time and approach the process with patience and positivity.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead, remember to delegate. If you have a family member more suited to interviewing, give that task to them. You can then give someone else the task of making sense of the recordings and another to gather photographs. It can be a real team effort and a healing process for everyone involved.

At Prestige Nursing & Care, we believe that people living with dementia should be able to live a fulfilled and healthy life at home. With the right support in place, tailored to their individual needs.

We provide dementia care at home guided by you and tailored to your needs, giving you choice over how you live your life and the support you want. Contact our friendly team to discuss how our dementia care can ensure your loved one has the care and support they need in the place they love most – their own home. 

We are here to take your call and will provide impartial support and guidance – contact our friendly care experts today to discuss your care needs.

0808 239 1525


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