Jan 9, 2017

Creating a Life Map for Dementia Patients

Activities for dementia patients like a "life map" can calm anxiety and agitation, and often provide a connection to a happier time. They can also help promote memories and conversation.

Caregivers should consider creating a life map to help with more effective dementia care.
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Our reader Jocelyn Delaney wrote:

"As I mentioned in a previous post, Paul has a Life Map on his wall, along with lots of other photos.

The Life Map shows the names of our children, his siblings, major events in his life, the schools he went to. It is very well done.

I provided the information to the Home where he is currently living and they filled it out and provided relevant pictures, even to a flag of Papua New Guinea where we spent 2 years as volunteers back in the 80's.

It is amazing the interest it creates with 'most' of the caregivers and carers. It also makes them realize that Paul has led an interesting life and has not always been the way he is now."

Sounds like a very good idea to me.

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Do you think your loved one living with dementia would enjoy a Life Map?

Step One:
Gather magazines, catalogs, and pictures.

Step Two:
Go through pictures, magazines and catalogs and pull out images, words and phrases that speak to you or evoke feelings.

Step Three:
Cut out these images and words.

The Best Way to Find Solutions to the Problems that Caregivers Face Each Day

Step Four:
Place your pictures, words and images on a large board in an way that feels right to you.

Step Five:
Paste the images on the board.

Step Six:
Review the Life Map and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What have I learned from looking at the Life Map?
  • Do I see any patterns?
  • Does anything on the Life Map surprise me?
  • What else do I need to in order to fulfill the intentions of the Life Map?
  • Are their family or friends that can help complete or improve the Life Map?
Based on Life Maps on Oprah

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR).

The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

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