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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 is now a medical school student.

Since 2011, Puzzles To Remember’s Associate Director, Hailey Richman, now age 10, has been helping distribute puzzles to nursing facilities around the globe. Hailey also spends time doing the puzzles with nursing home residents. She always brightens their days.

If you have puzzles that you would like to donate, please contact us at PuzzlesToRemember@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.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Memory Cafes are the Wave of the Future for Alzheimer's Care

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember
 Memory Cafes have been very popular for some time in Great Britain, and now they are becoming much more popular in the United States.  They are friendly gatherings of Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers.


In many ways, they are not unlike Adult Day Care, except there is one important difference.  The person with Alzheimer's attends TOGETHER with their caregiver.

Many Alzheimer's patient balk at the idea of attending Adult Day Care.  They may feel frightened, or they may resent being "sent away".  However, these same individuals usually love to attend the Memory Cafes because they view them as inclusive social outings.

Once at these cafes, the Alzheimer's patients quickly make friends and engage in simple activities, games, or puzzles with their peers.  Meanwhile, caregivers have the wonderful opportunity to talk to other caregivers, receiving much needed advise and emotional support.

Many facilities like libraries are more than willing to "loan" the use of their facilities for this purpose.

My friend, Carole Larkin, who is a Geriatric Care Manager in Dallas Texas, has authored a "How To" manual for those interested in beginning a Memory Cafe in their area.  Carole has posted this manual on her site:  www.ThirdAgeServices.com.  She has also compiled a list of current Memory Cafes in the United States.

In Carole's words,

" in my opinion Adult Day Cares and Memory Café’s are vastly different. Here’s how:
At day cares, the person with a cognitive illness is dropped of at the day care for a day or maybe a half a day, then the caregiver leaves. At a Memory Café, the caregiver and the person with dementia are together the whole time. And the whole time is an hour and a half, maybe 2 hours but that’s pushing it. I have never seen a Memory Café where the caregiver and the person with dementia split up."

Here is a link to her booklet "Want to Start a Memory Cafe  in Your Neighborhood?"

Here is a link to the current memory cafes in this country:  Memory Cafes



You may also contact Carole Larkin at thirdageservices@gmail.com.  She is available for individual consultations.  Her experience is vast, and  her advice is invaluable.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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.

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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 PuzzlesToRemember@gmail.com