Shadow Boxes & DementiaFor people living with dementia, it can be difficult to retain a sense of identity or remember important moments from the past. Our care team helped residents create shadow boxes for their rooms to house warm memories and preserve their personal histories.

These "memory boxes" provide stimulation, both mentally and emotionally, and the act of creating them gives our residents an opportunity to use their fine motor skills. At Embassy, we use memory shadow boxes to create a sense of community and make people feel at home.

America Luedy's memory box highlights the accomplishments of her children, Kimberly and Brandon, both Marines.

If you're caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or other dementia illness, you can create shadow boxes at home.

  1. Choose a container. It doesn't have to be a traditional shadow box. You could use a hatbox, a plastic storage container, or even a shoe box.
  2. Decorate the box however you like, with fabric, markers, stickers, ribbon or whatever strikes your fancy.
  3. Pick the keepsakes to put in the memory box or shadow box. Choose family jewelry, childhood drawings, photographs, souvenirs of favorite trips, a familiar scented sachet, or anything else your loved one gravitates toward.

If you chose a shadow box, hang it on the wall where your loved one can see it every day. Other types of memory boxes can be displayed on a dresser or coffee table where the items inside can be handled to spark recall and conversation.