Thanks to a grant from the Rotary Club of Brantford - Sunrise, memory boxes have been installed outside of each resident’s room on Bluebird Terrace. Shelley Murray, Life Enrichment Manager at St. Joseph’s Long-Term Care Home says that with community support, the home hopes to have memory boxes installed for every resident across all eight home areas. 

Memory boxes are specific to each resident. They contain items that are relevant to the individual, such as precious family photos, instruments and tools that relate to the individual’s past work life and their favourite hobbies and other unique items. 

For those living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other forms of memory loss, a memory box can function as more than just a link to the past. It can stimulate the senses, trigger recall, or even help residents make new friends. 

A memory box paints a picture of a person’s past. 

“For new people joining the care staff, the items contained in a memory box can serve as topics to engage the resident in meaningful conversation,” says Shelley. 

“This puts the resident’s interests front and centre, creating instant common ground. Every time a memory box is filled we learn new and wonderful things about the individual,” Shelley added. 

Pictured on the right is the memory box of Katie Hunt, a resident of Bluebird Terrace who has been diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia. Katie’s husband Doug filled his wife’s memory box with images from significant events and activities in their life together. This includes photos of raising their daughter Megan and spending time with their grandson Seth. 

Several items pertain to Katie’s work as an accomplished face paint artist. Katie wrote articles for several family entertainment magazines and International Face and Body Art magazine. She served on the board and was an organizer for the annual Face and Body Art Conference, held in Orlando, Florida. 

Other photos include memories from Doug’s work as a stilt walker. Doug’s achievement of Guinness World Record holder as World’s Tallest Stilt Walker was a significant event in the couple’s life that connected them to the community on a large scale.

Pictured Above, Shelley Murray, SJLCB’s Life Enrichment Manager and Julie Powell, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s Lifecare Foundation, accompany members of Rotary Club of Brantford - Sunrise on a tour of Bluebird Terrace to view memory boxes that were funded by the organization. 

The group stops to take a look at one of the installed memory boxes. Pictured L-R are: Glen Christensen, Jason Cherry, Andrea Berestovenko, and Richard Boyington.