How to make a memory book

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Do you want to know how do you make a memory book? Or why you might want to make one? What can be put in a memory book & how they can help a family member or a friend remember their life stories? 

How to make a memory book. There are many ways in which you can make a book for keeping memories of somebody

We take a look at how to make a memory book and how it can help people with memory loss, dementia and disease such as Alzheimer’s. Or can be used just for saving your favorite places, events or a timeline of life all in one place.

What is a memory book?

A memory book contains a collection of photographs, pictures and descriptions placed in a book to help the person or others to remember a persons life’s activities or interests. This can be a great aid to stimulating the memories of a person with dementia. Photos of friends and family members, events in their life, holidays or work can all be included.

A memory book is different to a memory box because a memory box contains solid items that a person can touch and feel rather than photos and words. Though a memory box can also contain photos.

Why make a memory book. What do I need?

Making a memory book can be a great way for the person with dementia to recollect their past and present life. When making the book it becomes a great activity. The persons memories can be shared with friends and family. It’s a great way to help a person with dementia to recollect their memories and stimulate their mind. It also help the person with communication through talking about what’s in the book.

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To make a book of memories you will need

  • A large enough book with clean, empty pages to put the pictures and write descriptions in.
  • Either glue, Sellotape or some other way to stick the pictures into the memory book.
  • Information you can write alongside the photos like information on the person’s birthday, children they have, history of work, marriage, school days, significant events in their life, etc.
  • Photos of the person, their friends and family and historical photos of the person if available.
  • Pictures from the person’s life events and timelines. This could be pictures from holidays, birthdays.

What photos and pictures to use

When creating a memory book for somebody with Alzheimer’s or dementia remember their condition. Using extra-large photos of people’s faces will help the person to see the photos better along with making easier recognition of the person in the photo.

You could also use cuttings of pictures from magazines and newspapers.

You could edit the photos before you have them printed by enlarging them on a photo editing software like Photoshop. This will make it easier for the person to recognize the person in the photos.

Recommendation – try not to put pictures of dead parents in a memory book

If the persons mum or dad or both have died, it may be wise not to put these photos in the memory book. It may upset the person if they have dementia or memory problems because there could be a chance they don’t remember the pictures of their parents and you will have to remind them there parents have died. Which can deeply upset the person. They will have to re-live the death of their parents again.

You could also use pictures that also tell a story to help the persons memory. If the person was a policeman during their career, why not show them in their uniform. If they have been on holiday somewhere why not show them on the beach.

Write short descriptions alongside the photos

When you place the pictures in the memory book try to leave enough space to write a description next to each photo.

The descriptions need to be short. Mention the person’s name in the picture. If the person is captured in the photo doing something, for example, cycling a bike, you should also mention the activity they are doing. But always keep the sentences short and simple.

An example would be: Here is your brother Steve and he is cycling a red bike.

Some ideas for the memory book

  • Pictures of family members. Children, brothers, sisters etc
  • Birthdays of those in the photos and where they were born
  • Pictures of friends
  • Their wedding day, christenings etc
  • Photos of them growing up. Childhood pictures
  • Their school days
  • Houses they have lived in
  • Work places, Work colleagues
  • Music they like
  • Pets they have had
  • Any important dates in their lives like passing out of university, awards they may have received, etc
  • Hobbies they may have
  • Favorite foods
  • Places or holidays they have visited

If you have any ideas on making a memory book or have any tips on creating one please let us know below.


  • Carol-Anne Lale

    Memory books in any format are a brilliant way to bring back memories. I particular like a collaborative approach. If you are able to involve family and friends then all the better as they may well have photos and stories that could have been forgotten by others and there is an added benefit of feeling more socially connected.
    I’ve had experience of a family putting together a memory book for their loved one in care. Her name is Sylvia. They had some of Sylvia’s old photos scanned into an online memory book, then chatted through her photos showing them to her on their ipad, capturing her stories into the memory book. Later they printed the book so she could keep it with her in the care home. Her carers could also pick up her book and have a nice triggers to engage Sylvia in conversations.

    • Hello Carol-Anne,
      Thank you for the beautifully described way in which a memory book can benefit everyone including family and friends.
      Thanks for a great insight.

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