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retirement home October 24, 2016

Photographs, old and new, can enrich the senior living experience

By: Country Meadows | Uncategorized

As seniors downsize, often to prepare for moving to a senior living community, they likely will come across an accumulation of family photos. Often the pictures will already be nicely organized, labeled and stored. But if not, now is the time to preserve them in a way that family members can enjoy and learn from them in the future.

Organizing and storing photos

Here are tips for organizing photos compiled from the website Home-Storage-Solutions-101:

  • Decide on and purchase a filing system. Look for acid-free, lignin-free, photo storage boxes or plastic containers.
  • Determine filing categories, e.g., years or decades, eras (early marriage, children, grandkids, etc.), events and holidays, or names of family members.
  • As you review photos, sort them into your categories.
  • Dispose of ones of poor quality–blurry, poorly lit or unidentifiable.
  • Label photos on the back with date, event, place and people’s names. Use an archival-safe photo pen that will not bleed through to the photo.
  • Further categorize photos by labeling and inserting box dividers.
  • Label the outside of each box and store it in a dry, climate-controlled environment. (Attics and basements are not recommended.)

Enjoying photos as a family

Looking at photographs together is an enjoyable activity for families, and it can be enlightening as well. Not only do photos elicit happy memories of past times spent together, but older photos can also let family members see senior loved ones in a different light, often learning a few new facts from days gone by. Sharing and talking about photos can be a particularly rewarding activity for grandchildren who are visiting grandparents at their independent living community or personal care home.

Using photos for memory support

For seniors with dementia or who receive memory care support services, photographs can help them recall important relationships, people and places. The Alzheimer’s online community suggests creating an album or a scrapbook with large, clearly labeled photos to provide them with a sense of comfort and familiarity while living in a retirement home. The album should feature a pleasant photo of them in front and their name prominently included in the title. Pictures of family members, friends and caregivers, as well as key places in their life, should be placed in the album. If your loved one with dementia is able, he or she could help identify the images and paste the photos into the album.

If you’re interested in choosing a retirement community, we invite you to look at our retirement apartments, where residents live full lives in a family-oriented, caring environment. We hope you will pay a visit to one of our 11 Pennsylvania or Maryland retirement communities, including retirement homes in Lancaster, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, PA, and our Maryland retirement home in Frederick. Please contact us for information about Country Meadows Retirement Communities or to schedule a tour so that we can acquaint you with our complete range of services.

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