Handmade Cards and a Legacy of Love

by | August 6, 2021 | Care Tips, Involving Others, Stories

Handmade greeting cards created by Trish’s granddaughter Eileen
Sending handmade cards and personal notes can help families stay connected during the Alzheimer’s journey.

Keep your family connected during the Alzheimer’s journey by sending greeting cards. Involve children and perhaps even a loved one living with dementia in the process of writing notes and creating handmade cards.

Grandma Trish (see Our Story) loved to make cards. She handcrafted many beautiful greetings, Christmas cards, and birthday well wishes, sending joy to friends and family over the years. Even after she was no longer making cards in her later days living with Alzheimer’s, she continued to save pretty pieces of paper and bits of colorfully patterned cardstock that came across her path.

Did she save items out of habit? Or did she not remember that she no longer made cards? Or was it simply for pure enjoyment that this little artful stash grew in secret? Perhaps it was a bit of all three, but the result is that she left a lovely collection of papers and cardstock. Trish’s youngest granddaughter, Eileen, also a budding card maker, fashioned into greeting cards for a fundraiser for Songs & Smiles. (The cards are available in our Facebook Shop. Update on August 11 … only five cards now remaining.)

Trish also loved receiving cards. That’s something that stayed with her for her entire life. Eventually, we had to read cards for her, and she may not have understood every word. But she never lost her ability to feel the love and care sent with every card.

If you have a friend or family member who is living with Alzheimer’s, take a few minutes today to send them a card.

Tips for Writing to Someone Living With Dementia

  • Keep it short. Create a handmade card, or select a card with not too many words. Then add a personal note, but write just on the inside panels. Don’t continue on the back.
  • Make it easy to read. Use your best handwriting. I suggest printing instead of cursive.
  • Don’t ask questions.

Ideas for What to Write to Someone Living With Dementia

  • Write about a shared experience from a long time ago. (i.e. “I was thinking of you today and about that time when we …”)
  • Share some news, but focus on feelings instead of details, and relate it to them as much as possible. (Instead of telling them about your son’s promotion and trying to explain their techy job, say something like “You would be so proud of your grandson Andrew. He is doing very well at his job. He’s a hard worker, just like you were.”)
  • It’s okay to repeat words from the front of the card (i.e. “Thinking of you” or “Happy Birthday, Grandma.”)
  • Tell them how much they mean to you. (i.e. “You are such a good friend.” or “You taught me so much.”)
  • Tell them how much you love them.

 

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Author Bio: Eric and his wife, Sheryl, founded Songs & Smiles to support families during the Alzheimer's journey. He loves singing and smiling and helping people living with dementia connect with beautiful memories.

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