David Weaver (my best pal growing up) : “Tuck ! I’ll will trade my Whitey Ford card for your Mickey Mantle !”
Me: “ Are you nuts? That’s how I lost my Willie Mays to you last time.”
Baseball cards A Superman button. A special pocket knife. A ticket stub from Jefferson Airplane concert. A weird tie-tack from your Uncle Dan. Did you keep souvenirs as a kid? These little pieces of the past reminded ourselves what we thought was cool. In that early time as kids our treasures were frozen experiences in physical form. Instant to defrost and “poof” a dazzling memory was there.
In England the collection of these little in a memory box is called “Reminisce Therapy”. It was first developed in 1960 by psychiatrist Robert Butler and has been used and refined for more than 50 years.
In the early 1990’s studies by research facilities around the world including Harvard, St. Andrews University in Scotland and Martin Luther University in Germany have shown that this treatment in stirring memories “positive effect on mood, self-care, the ability to communicate and well-being. In some cases, the therapy improves intellectual functioning , encourages patients to talk about their earlier memories. It is generally offered to older people who have mood or memory problems, or who need help dealing with the difficulties that come with ageing.”
In little 30 minute sessions working with 2 caregivers these little items from the person’s youth stimulate memories, personal interests, inspire conversations with family and caregivers, spurs creativity.Build your own memory box. Just gather pictures off the internet like Pinterest. It’s a powerful little tool to remind you of your hopes and dreams. Maybe dreams to come !