How Photos Can Help Older People with Dementia

When your loved one has developed dementia, it’s understandable that you’ll want to do everything you can to support them. One of the best ways to do so is by showing them photos and images that will take them back through their memories.

By sharing snapshots from the past, you’ll be stimulating their brain. This will work to improve memory function and prolonging their cognitive ability.

When a person begins to lose their memory, they’ll start to lose their sense of self. As such, using visual aids can be vital in supporting them in retaining those sentimental moments of joy as well as helping them to engage with the present.

So, what’s the best way to use photos to help dementia?

Make a personalised photo album

One good way to engage with your loved one is by creating a photo album that’s personal to them. Depending on what stage their dementia is at, this could be a great activity to do together that will help them reflect on the past.

Start with moments from their youth, chronicling up to the present day. This will help your loved one to process how people may have visually changed. This is as well as supporting them in placing those who may have only been recently reintroduced.

Enlarge and label pictures

When putting together a photo album or flicking through some of their favourite memories, be sure to enlarge images to help them see the picture clearly. Also, to help them when they’re looking through photographs by themselves, add a caption to each snapshot. This should include who’s in the photograph, where they are and when the picture was taken.

Encourage them to keep taking photos

Once you have put together a photo album for them to treasure, there’s no reason for them to stop taking pictures to add to it. Give them a camera to keep with them and encourage them to keep taking photos. These could be of the moments they enjoy, the people they meet and the places they’ve visited.

Your loved one’s ability to use a camera will depend on their stage of dementia. However, there are plenty of options available – from small, digital cameras to polaroids. Alternatively, if they have a carer or live in a residential home, you can always ask them to help with taking the photo.

These images will provide you and your loved one with the perfect opportunity to get together and flick back through their memories as you add in their most recent updates.

Explore scrapbooking

Alongside their photographs, your loved one may also enjoy making a scrapbook. Again, this will provide your friend or family member with strong visual aids to help them in reminiscing over the past.

The process of scrapbooking is also very therapeutic and relaxing. It’s also ideal for a group setting, encouraging social interaction that will further stimulate cognitive function.

If your loved one needs additional support, The Beeches Residential Home in Ixworth can provide specialist dementia care that will support them in staying stimulated and healthy.

Based just outside of Bury St Edmunds, our care team maintain a daily roster of activities and curate a safe, supportive environment that’s ideal for older people with dementia needs.

If you’re interested in hearing more about The Beeches Residential Home, our team would be happy to talk to you. Contact us on 01359 230773 or email info@thebeeches-ixworth.co.uk

< Back to news

Latest News

The benefits of spending time outdoors for residents with dementia

Posted on July 12th, 2024

Summer is well and truly upon us and it’s the best time of the year to enjoy the outdoors. The longer days and warmer temperatures provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature in all its glory and so we have been encouraging our residents to spend more time outdoors. At The Beeches, […]

Read more >

Steps to take when you or a loved one has had a dementia diagnosis

Posted on June 21st, 2024

A dementia diagnosis can be overwhelming, both for the person living with it and their loved ones. It can often lead to feelings of fear, sadness, confusion, anger or loneliness. It is a crucial time when the person needs extra care and support to navigate their diagnosis. In May, we observed Dementia Action Week (13-19 […]

Read more >

Stress management in dementia care: tips and advice

Posted on May 10th, 2024

Working in a dementia care home can be an incredibly rewarding job. Care workers provide care, support and companionship to people living with dementia, helping them maintain their well-being and quality of life.  However, caring for another person can be stressful at times. Unpredictable situations, challenging behaviours and the emotional weight of the job can […]

Read more >

How you can help you loved ones living with dementia cope with sundowning

Posted on April 16th, 2024

The clocks have moved forward and we’re all very excited for the summer but this is a big change and can affect people living with dementia in several ways. One such way is sundowning, which is a term used for increased anxiety and confusion that often occurs in the late afternoon or evening. At The […]

Read more >

The Beeches get baking for Red Nose Day

Posted on March 22nd, 2024

This Red Nose Day, we hosted a bake sale at The Beeches to raise money to support people facing poverty in the UK and around the world. Our staff, residents and their family members came together to make the bake sale a success. While we might not have broken any baking records, we managed to […]

Read more >

Through the seasons at The Beeches: A 2023 recap

Posted on January 15th, 2024

Happy New Year! 2023 was a year filled with laughter, love and unforgettable memories here at The Beeches. As we settle into the new year, we’re taking this opportunity to take a look back at the last 12 months  and relive all the heartwarming moments at our home. Spring Easter cheer: We welcomed the season […]

Read more >