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5 ways to save memories for the elderly

5 ways to save memories for the elderly

If you've seen 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, you know that memory for some people can be a tricky thing.

If you have a parent you are losing to Alzheimer's, you know firsthand. Here are some tips for keeping the memories of your loved one, new and old, for the future.

1. Use what you have at your fingertips.

Your phone can be a great way to keep and store memories of and with your loved ones. Start by creating a shared drive online where the whole family can see what's been uploaded, whether pictures or videos. Then, if you want to get a little more advanced, you can add other storage options using applications or online platforms.

Common photo sharing tools include Drop box, Flickr, iCloud Photo Stream and Google+ Photos. The Verge rated these as some of the best photo apps for keeping memories in the cloud.

Other options from PC Mag that are specifically for sharing memories include Smile box, Picaboo, Mix book and Shutter fly.

2. Keep photo albums/scrapbooks.

While you can keep digital albums and scrapbooks using applications online, you can also create albums and scrapbooks the old-fashioned way. One consideration here is the digital picture frame, where the user can upload photos to a flash drive and put them into a frame that creates a slideshow of the images for your loved one.

3. Make a video.

Sometimes the best way to store memories is to catalog all the good times that you have on video. You can take all your videos or images that you have from times with that person and put them together. One tool for cell phones is Videolicious, which allows you to make videos from your phone directly. You can also invest in Adobe Premiere Software, Final Cut Pro or other video software in order to create your masterpiece. Sometimes even your own computer will have editing tools for videos or pictures so that you can make a slideshow or video.

4. Try to strengthen what you already know.

Help your loved one by helping them solidify what they already know. As anyone ages, you begin to lose some of the memories you held. Sometimes, journaling can assist in keeping memories. Other times, you need to engage a more significant strategy to help your loved one.

Harvard University Medical School's Health Publications has many suggestions for keeping your mind sharp. These include learning continuously, using all your senses, saving up when you don't need to use your brain, repetition of what is known through speech or writing or making a mnemonic.

To continue to learn, one might invest in crossword puzzles, computer games or Sudoku. Saving up brain power by using lists or planners and designating places in your home for items can mean that you have more space to focus on other things. By repeating something you need to remember or creating a mnemonic you can remember important information more readily. First and foremost, though, remain positive and believe in the abilities of your loved ones so that they can do the best they can in keeping their mind sharp.

5. Take care of yourself.

Sometimes the best strategy is one that can make sure your loved one is at his or her best! To do this, The Senior Care Corner advises making sure they get enough sleep, eat well, stay active and drink lots of water. If memory continues to be an issue, consult a doctor. But first, make sure that you are connected to your loved one, whether by phone, email or social media and get sharing your memories!

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