I believe it was on your blog that I read an entry related to using shadow boxes with personal items for each individual in memory care. I am an SLP at an ALF and am in the process of getting things approved for our memory care unit to enhance the residents' QOL. Do you have an article that would provide evidence of the use of shadow boxes or any other environmental changes you could recommend so I have it to present to the board?


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Hi, do you mean a research article or an article I wrote? What you’ll probably find on most blogs or Pinterest boards or articles are people recommending that you use “little trinkets that the person likes.” That’s not what I recommend: instead, I suggest using a photo of the resident when they were younger. People with dementia usually think of themselves as a much younger version of who they are now, and they recognize their old photos as current images. It helps them find their rooms and it helps the staff humanize their residents.

If you want an article that I wrote, try:

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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