Puzzles To Remember

PUZZLES TO REMEMBER is a 501(c)3 organization that provides puzzles to nursing homes, veterans facilities, and other facilities that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. Puzzles To Remember was founded in 2008 by Max Wallack, who recognized the calming effect of puzzles and many other benefits on people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Max graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, in 2015, and from Harvard Medical School in 2020.

Beginning in 2020, Hailey Richman is the Executive Director of PuzzlesToRemember. Since 2011, Hailey has been distributing puzzles to nursing facilities around the globe. Hailey also spends time doing the puzzles with nursing home residents. She always brightens their days.  Hailey is also the founder of KidCaregivers.com, where she provides advice for children dealing with dementia in their family members. Hailey has begun a program called PuzzleTime which involves volunteer students going to nursing facilities and doing puzzles with their residents. Max serves as a mentor to the KidCaregivers program.

If you have puzzles that you would like to donate, please contact us at Puzzles2Remember@gmail.com and we will find a location near you where you can bring your puzzles. We can also provide you with a donation letter so that you can claim the value of your puzzles as a tax deduction.

To see a short video from WCVB Ch. 5 "BOSTON STRONG" about Max's efforts on behalf of Alzheimer's patients, click here.

To see a short video about Hailey's Puzzle Time Program, click here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Other Faces of Alzheimer's


By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

(previously published on the AlzheimersReadingRoom.com)

One religious tenet that I am familiar with describes worthwhile human life by asking, “Is the person capable of performing a good deed?” A good deed can be defined as anything that improves the life of or brings joy to another person.

One medical tenet claims that a life is worth living if the individual is capable of feeling joy.

On both of these definitions, the life of a person with Alzheimer’s is still very rewarding. We have all seen our loved ones with this disease experience joy, albeit not often enough. We have all felt the pride and self-worth we experience when we see our loved ones respond with smiles.

We have seen Alzheimer’s patients do things on behalf of others. I know Great Grams’ last words, upon leaving our home for the last time, were advice on my behalf.

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are so often depicted in photos with sad and disoriented looks. I think too many people all too easily overlook the happy moments and the moments when just a smile on the face of a loved one can enrich the lives of their caregiver.

I would like to share with you some photos of Alzheimer’s patients. I wish more people could look into these faces and see for themselves that not only is there “more there” but there is even more to give.

Here is a photo of Great Grams, with Alzheimer’s. She is feeling happy and proud that I made that cane seat for her:

Next is a great photo of a grandmother with Alzheimer’s sharing a wonderful fun time with her granddaughter. They are both performing good deeds, making each other happy.

Here is one of my favorite photos. Nelda, shown here, is in her 90’s. This photo, taken within a week of her death, shows her still very capable of joy. I understand Nelda had a very empathetic and giving nature.
Below are three other photos of Alzheimer’s patients being “more there”. When we can help them be “more there” , we become more human.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

1 Comment:

OnThePath said...

Max, it is wonderful to see the joy your puzzles are bringing. The puzzles are so colorful and lively. Puzzles are a great way to be together, doing something productive. The puzzle offers a period of activity in which the pressure to converse is lifted, opening the way for minutes of spontaneous interaction.

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PUZZLES TO REMEMBER was founded in 2008 by Max Wallack, in memory of his great-grandmother, Gertrude Finkelstein, who died of Alzheimer's disease in 2007.
Puzzles To Remember is registered in Massachusetts as a public charity. Contributions are welcome, and are tax deductible under sec. 501(c.)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

For more information, write to us at Puzzles2Remember@gmail.com