Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Memory Books - More Than Just Photobooks

Photobooks are a wonderful invention - a printed photo album that you can hand around or get multiple copies of for family and friends. In addition to creating DVD slide-shows, photobooks really are must-haves for any family.

But it is important to remember that for those with memory issues, photobooks can actually just be a source of frustration and irritation. In some cases they may recall the people in the photographs but not be able to identify them by name. Alternatively, they may not remember anyone in the photographs or where the images were taken. Either way, the experience can be one of distress rather than of pleasure enjoyment that you might have expected.

Essentially, photobooks (and photo albums) can often be passive in terms of memory because they provide a single access path - the visual associations with the image.

Memory Books however use a combination of words and images to help the rediscovery of latent memories. The books then go further by encouraging the reader to record the memories that they have in the book. This not only reinforces the memories and helps to preserve them, it also then operates recursively on the next review of that page to both reinforce those memories as well as potentially bring out other linked memories.

Memory books are active stimulators of memory.

By drawing on an individual's particular life experiences, they are personal windows into their past. They are both a journey forward (chronologically) as well as a journey past (rediscovery). Unlike photo books which usually only contain snapshots, the memory book may contain other items such as birth certificates, letters and other meaningful and significant milestones in the individual's life.

Memory books are far more than just photobooks. They are a living link to who we were - to who we are now.