for an aging loved one can be tremendously
stressful under any circumstances . . .
However, when the loved one has a dementing disease
such as Alzheimers, and is unable to participate in decisions regarding their care
the stress is far greater. Add to that the stress of raising young children as well as
parenting your parent and the stress can be absolutely overwhelming for many of us.
Finding accurate and helpful caregiving information is one of the
keys to providing adequate care for your loved one as well as helping curb your stress.
This information needs to be organized in a manner that makes it available when needed.
Keeping a journal helps you do this, and it can also be helpful in maintaining a positive
and healthful attitude.
JournalKeepers evolved out of my
search for a way to provide a resource for children and adults to write about their
feelings and to provide a quick, easy to read reference tool for caregivers. Ten years ago
when my mother was first diagnosed with Alzheimers there was little or no
information regarding the disease for families. Most of the material I could put my hands
on was very clinical in nature and difficult to understand. I needed something that would
address my need to heal my children and myself as well as answer common questions in a
concise and simple way. Unfortunately, we soon realized there was little or no material
available to help parents and children effectively manage their grief.
Memory Maker journal is designed for children ages 4-14, to aid in coping with
their feelings. This set offers helpful suggestions to adults and coping strategies for
children who are faced with the grief that accompanies Alzheimers disease.
The My Memory Maker journal provides
children a pathway to the expression of their feelings through artwork, which I call Heart
As the Alzheimers patient progresses through the
stages of the disease, they will change dramatically. Change can be very threatening to
children because they have no basic understanding of how the disease is effecting their
loved one. My Memory Maker is a
childrens creative journal designed to provide a place for children to express their
personal thoughts and feelings of grief and memories about their older loved one. Young
children think symbolically rather than with the use of written words. This book is not a
cutesy coloring book, but rather a childs journal to be used to express themselves
Pictures reveal a childs thinking.
opportunities for gentle discussions, which can offer insights into a childs fears
and misconception and provides opportunities for clarity and reassurance.
Memory Maker has drawing and writing
prompts to help children begin the journaling process. Art is used to stimulate feelings
and memories that may be written about or discussed with their parent. Drawing and
journaling may be used a springboard for discussions regarding their older loved one and
changes taking place within their family. Journaling steps in both books are
user-friendly. They are clearly presented so even those folks who dont think of
themselves as writers feel comfortable with the process. Both books contain a scrapbook
section to save precious moments.
Once the process of journaling is accomplished,
the results will be something that children and parents can keep with them to serve as a
connection to their special someone.
In many cases, having an older loved with Alzheimers
disease can create a change in family dynamics, reassigning of family roles, economic
hardships, demands on adult time and emotional stress for all family members. The changes
taking place can be threatening to children.
The My Memory Maker journal provides children a pathway to the expression of their
feelings through artwork. This is a process that I call Heart Art. Their artwork can provide
opportunities for discussions that can help reveal their misconceptions or concerns.
The journal set is comprised of two journals
and a box of crayons for the child's use. Making Memories is
the parent companion journal to My Memory Maker.
To learn more about Making
Memories, Click Here.
To view a photo of the journal set, Click Here.
To view sample pages from the
To read some comments on the
journals, Click Here.
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