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Who else doesn't use pictures?
Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 6:27 PM
Joined: 5/22/2016
Posts: 453

I've heard lots about going through pictures with your LO, putting pictures up for them, etc. But I've found that pictures just aren't that useful, and can often make him more anxious because he doesn't recognize the people. Or gets upset when I tell him who the people are in the picture and they don't look like who he expects to see. 

Just wondering what others' experiences are.

Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 7:39 PM
Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 6691

I made very nice picture posters for the memory care staff to better know DW but she was to far gone to use them


Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 8:30 PM
Joined: 10/24/2019
Posts: 557

Alas, showing my DW photos of family and of the trips we’ve taken is an abject failure in trying to stir up memories for her.  She doesn’t recognize the kids, or me, and sometimes herself.  Has no idea about the places we’ve been.  And loses interest almost before we start.

Chalk up more losses on the AD road.

Stuck in the middle
Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 9:12 PM
Joined: 6/4/2017
Posts: 1367

It works until it doesn't.  With my mother, we started with her telling me stories about the people in the pictures.  Later, I told her the stories.  Toward the end of her life, we didn't do it any more.
Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 9:17 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 4515

We look at old pictures, and she enjoys them. I have home movies from the 60s and 70s that I copied into digital movies. She really enjoys them when I show them. She still knows everyone, but it's a little strange when I see that she has lost other things that others haven't, yet they lost the ability to recognize people. It's a strange road we're on.
Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 9:44 PM
Joined: 2/16/2017
Posts: 1472

I had pictures of kids and grandkids on my DHs wall when he was in MC, he did nor remember names or who they were but he knew he loved them. He always had a name but it did not always match up to who he was pointing at. I never corrected him I just agreed. I would take our little dog in when I visited, he thought it was his cat and he really loved his cat so I went along with what ever he thought.
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 1:08 AM
Joined: 4/4/2018
Posts: 251

Interesting thread.    We have 3 photo albums for the 13 years we've been married.  Well actually only the first 6 years.  After that she stopped making them.   She used to enjoy looking at them and seeing the places we traveled.  Then she moved on to very occasionally looking at them and then, not opening them but moving them at all just around the house and stacking them here and there.  Now they are pretty much ignored.  The collection of pictures on the wall have suffered the same fate, an occasional passing interest.   She usually recognizes herself but not anyone else.  

Reviewing the albums, which she put together shows a clear loss of abilities.  The first, 2008 - 2009 is creative with captions and art work, the second 2010-12 is pretty much in time sequence and photos arranged logically.  The one she started in 2013 is just a hodgepodge of photos.  

It is interesting to me as it is a clear look at her early decline, which I had not clearly recognized before.  In retrospect I felt she had started to decline in 2010, the albums document that more clearly...  Its a sad recognition.  Rick  

Joe C.
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 4:48 AM
Joined: 10/13/2019
Posts: 705

Like others have stated the interest in looking at photo albums has decreased over time but I still use them from time to time to keep DW occupied. My stepdaughter gave DW a digital picture frame which I mounted in our living room but she does not look at it unless I put it right in front of her.
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 5:27 AM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 866

Pictures or photos of any type were not useful for my husband because his perception has been and is way off.  His eyes don't focus on those types of things, nor has he folded towels or washclothes as part of an activity.
60 falcon
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 6:47 AM
Joined: 11/16/2018
Posts: 189

Pictures in general don't do much of anything for DW.  One of our sons put together a nice photo album for her that she doesn't look at.  DW does like to look at and carry around a few school pictures of our sons from when they were in grade school.  What she really seems to like are old cards (bday, Xmas, mother's day). She carries them around all day, everyday.  She's about worn them out so I plan to start putting random new cards in the mail box for her.
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 7:20 AM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 1167

I spent days and hours putting together a photo album for DH's birthday last week. It was mostly "pre-me" picks from his childhood. Sometimes, he would comment, "I remember that". Other times there was a blank stare.

There are pictures of us all around the house. He doesn't enjoy them like I do. 

DH was the picture taker in our relationship. Most of our pics are digital. I considered having select prints made for photo albums for him to enjoy. I am rethinking the endeavor because he doesn't seem to enjoy the pics like me. Its a time consuming task. I could farm it out to Shutterfly or another photo book vendor. I am unsure if the expense is worth it at this time.

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 7:36 AM
Joined: 2/29/2020
Posts: 785

DH shows no interest at this point in family pictures, except the few we have from his childhood. He has been "stuck" for awhile now back in his childhood/teenage years. He often asks if his father is home from work, if his sister is in for the evening, and he worries a great deal that he is out and his mother is looking for him. He recognizes her in photos (even as she got older) but has no recognition of the children, grandchildren or me. Strange how the dementia mind works.......
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 7:58 AM
Joined: 10/16/2020
Posts: 207

60 falcon wrote:
What she really seems to like are old cards (bday, Xmas, mother's day). She carries them around all day, everyday.  She's about worn them out so I plan to start putting random new cards in the mail box for her.

What a great idea and very sweet!

Jo C.
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 12:21 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 11948

What Crushed did is a big positive.

If one has a LO going into care; especially if that person is not able to communicate well or at all, it is a very good idea to create a poster board with photos of the LO from years ago when she/he was younger.  Why?  Because so very often, the person in the asssigned room is not seen as an individual by much of staff; but rather just one more anonymous gray head - no difference except for the acuity of whatever care they need. A set of tasks; nothing too much more. 

When family puts together photos or copies of photos of the LO in younger years and with family in a poster board or large frame; suddenly, the staff can see just who the patent had been in their active life. No longer just that anonymous gray head.  Can make a difference in both overt and subtle ways.

As for my LO and photos.  Well; she had an album filled with old photos of her childhood family; grands and great-grands and even great-greats.  She would never let anyone take the photos for copying, etc.

One day without any of us knowing, she took out most of the photos and mailed them away to someone who none of us knew who they were; still don't.  Her idea was that this poor person was family who never had contact with said family and they needed to know who they were related to.  Huh?  None of us had any idea who this could be and this person never surfaced or sent a note that they had received the photos.

Cherished photos gone forever.  In the scope of the universe, small potatoes, but still . . . . though my LO would not recognize anyone in a photo; the albums we did have; we used as almost a storybook; could look at photos and tell a story about what was happening in the picture, etc.  Seemed to like that.

Rescue mom
Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 1:33 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 2144

My DH never had a lot of interest in seeing old photos or slides, etc. After his Alzheimer’s became more”known”, he did not even pretend to be interested, no matter who or where they were. No interest whatsoever, even though he knew/remembered the people.

But what Jo and Crushed said is really great. It can help the staff view them differently, and anything that helps aides help our LOs, has enormous value.

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 3:25 PM
Joined: 2/1/2018
Posts: 731

I am in the same boat as Doityourselfer.  DH’s perception was one of the earliest things to go.  He can’t orient to sound or something visual or an activity that is right near him.  He looks right past pictures, or people, or faces that are directly in his line of vision, or in close periphery.  

As a matter of fact, it was his poor perception that ended his driving.  He never liked driving so didn’t drive much, but liked to take the yard waste to the local recycle yard (about 1/2 mile from home.) One day, early into his MCI diagnosis, he left for the dump and didn’t come back and didn’t come back……He finally arrived, on foot, having parked the car in a lot after misjudging an oncoming car and crashing into the curb.  He announced that he would never drive again, and never did.  Thankfully, one less thing to worry about as he progressed over the years.  

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2021 10:37 PM
Joined: 6/19/2018
Posts: 216

When family puts together photos or copies of photos of the LO in younger years and with family in a poster board or large frame; suddenly, the staff can see just who the patent had been in their active life. No longer just that anonymous gray head.  Can make a difference in both overt and subtle ways. 

I think pictures are useful in a memory care setting. Not only for the staff, but for the family of the roommate. When my mother-in-law was admitted to the care facility, her roommate had a poster size frame of things about her. It gave us a connection to her. We liked it so much we made one for MIL. 

Jane Smith
Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 6:11 PM
Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 309

Josey, I was also not able to use photos with my mother. They only agitated her, often cruelly. 


In fact, she destroyed or disposed of many photographs early in her dementia.  She also removed all the framed photos from the walls and furniture. 


You have to do what works for you. I’m sorry.
Gig Harbor
Posted: Saturday, July 31, 2021 12:05 AM
Joined: 3/10/2016
Posts: 747

My husband doesn’t recognize anyone in the pictures and is not at all interested in them. I think that picture boards benefit stroke patients as they are trying to relearn things and events but dementia patients are unable to relearn anything.
Posted: Saturday, July 31, 2021 8:13 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2963

Dad loved looking at pictures of himself when he was younger and showing people how "hot" he was. He liked some of the pictures of my mom from when they first met and his brother as a kid, but had no interest in his kids, grandkids, coworkers or friends. 

We bought dad a digital frame which was a big fat fail. I pre-loaded it with family pictures and a few Easter eggs to entertain my mother. One of them was a picture of dad's urologist which dad claimed was my son. Dad's urologist was Japanese-American and my son looks like Ed Sheeran. 

His MCF had a shadow box at each resident's door for the family to fill with pictures and mementos. They are intended to help resident know which door is theirs and help staff see them as individuals and given them a prop to use to engage.
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