Read (or Re-Read) Letters

Cursive10

Reading letters is a nice way to feel loved and remembered, and the tangibility of the paper and the ritual of opening the envelope is satisfying in a way that just clicking to read an email is not. Therefore, why not recruit friends and family to write the person with memory loss a letter. Or, if they were a saver, why not help the person find their old love letters, birthday cards, etc. and re-read those? For those in the moderate stages of the disease, you can even keep putting the same letter in a new envelope and they can re-experience the fun of opening the letter over and over again! Having a letter from a deceased or absent spouse or parent to give someone when they are asking for their loved one is sometimes a nice way to steer the conversation from “I have to go see my husband” to simply reminiscing about him. Those in the severe stages of the disease are unlikely to be able to read, so you could read the letter to them. They might even job simply looking at the familiar handwriting of a loved one or maybe the lingering smell of their signature perfume that was spritzed on a love note.

Of course, this activity is a great starting point for reminiscing about letters they wrote in the past, people who wrote to them, why they had to write instead of talk on the phone, etc.

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