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Puzzles To Remember

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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Note of Thanks from Rock Spring, Wyoming

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Today, I received the following note of thanks from Cindy, at the Sage View Care Center in Rock Spring, Wyoming for having donated Springbok PuzzlesToRemember to that facility.

“Thank you so much for the puzzles you recently donated to our facility. I was recently appointed the coordinator over our Alzheimer’s unit, and have been desperately looking for some good puzzles for our wonderful residents to use. Your donation arrived just when I needed them the most. Thank you for taking the time and energy to include us in your efforts. There just are not words to express how appreciative I am for you and the work you do.”

I think Cindy will make a great Activity Director and Program Coordinator!


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.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Prejudice and Alzheimer's Disease

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

This past week we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. I made of point of delivering puzzles to three nursing facilities in honor of what this day has come to symbolize. I have also applied for a college scholarship, the Martin Luther King Scholarship, which is a scholarship that Boston University grants to students who get good grades, but also serve society, while respecting individual differences.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”

You may be wondering, by now, what any of this has to do with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. Well, since I have been thinking about these matters all week, I have a story about Great Grams that I would like to share.

In July of 2006, we took a family trip to Hawaii, including Great Grams. I have written about many aspects of this trip previously, but I don’t think I have ever shared the events at the airport in Honolulu as we waited for our return flight home.

(As a reminder, Great Grams was about 94 at the time, and she had moderate to advanced Alzheimer’s disease.)

My family had arrived early for the flight. We were all quite tired, since many of the events in Honolulu had involved significant episodes with Great Grams.

Suddenly, Great Grams looked up and noticed several Black individuals sitting in the same boarding area. She became very upset and clearly announced that she would not be getting on the flight that had Black people on it.

My family, including myself, was entirely taken by surprise. In fact, we were shocked beyond belief. Great Grams had lived her whole life in integrated neighborhoods. She raised her family in a Boston Housing Authority apartment. Various races were certainly nothing new to her, and we had NEVER heard her express any prejudice previously.

We weren’t sure how to handle this situation. Great Grams would always perseverate; she continued to be adamant that she was not getting on that plane. We knew reasoning would not work.

After trying various solutions, we tried something that worked. We got up and changed our seats so that we were not facing the African American individuals. Sure enough, within a few minutes, Great Grams forgot all about them.

Then, something happened that made the whole incident more vivid in my memory. Some of the young African American children from this family were running around the boarding area, playing happily. Now, many of you may remember that Great Grams loved children.

Great Grams called the children over to her and began playing with them. She commented on how cute and smart they were. She was so happy! She enjoyed playing with those children for most of an hour.

Now, I think back about how much Great Grams’s dementia taught me about prejudice. She clearly demonstrated to me that prejudice is fear in its very basic state. Great Grams had never previously exhibited prejudice, but she was a very, very fearful individual.

She was fearful of these individuals that appeared different from herself. Yet, she was very loving to the children, whom she didn’t fear.

Great Grams clearly taught me an important life lesson that day when I was ten. I learned that prejudice is a function of fear. I also learned that most of the agitation evidenced by Alzheimer’s patients is rooted in fear and misunderstanding.

Is this true today for the many people in our society that shun Alzheimer’s and dementia patients? Is this a case of prejudice based in fear? Are some siblings and children of Alzheimer’s patients fearful of what they don’t understand? Is it because Alzheimer’s patients appear different sometimes? Do people turn away because they afraid that they may be looking at their own future? Are they afraid they won’t be capable of doing the job of the full-time caregiver, so they just don’t try at all?

Can we look deeper and see the person that is “still there?” Can we find that happy child that is still within them? If we can overcome our fears, we will find that there remains something in there that can still be of value not only to them but to ourselves.

We all need to do this because, with the impending tsunami of Alzheimer’s disease, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King , we will soon all be “in the same boat.”


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.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Puzzles Delivered to Three Nursing Facilities in Honor of MLK Day

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Today, I delivered jigsaw puzzles to three nursing facilities in honor of MLK Day. These facilities received some very nice puzzles, including many of the recently donated Ceaco puzzles.

Since I have already donated puzzles to so many facilities in Massachusetts, most of my donations are now shipped to other states, but I felt it was important, as a tribute to Martin Luther King's values, to personally bring these puzzles to patients who could benefit from them.


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.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Presentation About PuzzlesToRemember at Philips Corporation

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember



Today I gave a presentation about PuzzlesToRemember at Philips Corporation in Andover. Specifically, I spoke to the Ultrasound Department members.

They, and other departments, have been collecting puzzles for Alzheimer’s patients since September. They have donated almost 200 puzzles. They were very interested to hear about Alzheimer’s patients and how they benefit from working on puzzles. They were also interested in the Springbok PuzzlesToRemember, developed specifically for Alzheimer’s patients.


They plan on continuing to collect puzzles as part of their ongoing community involvement. I thank them. They are making a difference in the lives of many people.

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.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Springbok Donates Specialized Alzheimer’s Puzzles to Fifty Alzheimer’s Facilities

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Springbok has produced four new images for their specialized line of Springbok’s PuzzlesToRemember, made specifically to meet the needs of Alzheimer’s patients. You may click on the name of the puzzle under each image to order that puzzle.


Coral Carnival


Country Mill

Crimson Road



Durango Express


As part of Springbok Cares, their program to give back to society, they are also supplying these puzzles free, this week, to fifty Alzheimer’s facilities that I have chosen.

Alzheimer’s caregivers, both in facilities and in home care, attest to the value of these puzzles as a tool to promote positive interaction between patients and caregivers, as well as a mood-lifting tool that provides the patients with a sense of accomplishment that lasts well beyond the puzzle-making session.

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.

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Alzheimer’s Patients Have Received Over 10,000 Puzzles

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

PuzzlesToRemember has now distributed over 10,000 puzzles to facilities that care for Alzheimer’s patients. These facilities are located in every state, as well as Canada and Mexico.

Activity Directors frequently contact PuzzlesToRemember, requesting puzzle contributions. They often cite the scarcity of much needed activities for their patients with moderate or severe Alzheimer’s disease.

Recently, many individuals have emailed offering to donate their own puzzles. Some have only a few puzzles to donate. Others have contributed several hundred puzzles. Every puzzle has the potential to help many seniors in nursing facilities. Usually it is possible to match up the difficulty of the puzzle with a nursing ward with residents of appropriate abilities. Everyone benefits.

Those donating puzzles are even able to claim their value as a tax deduction! Contact PuzzlesToRemember@gmail.com, and you will be given a location to which to bring your puzzles as well as a donation letter for tax purposes.


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.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ceaco Donates 113 Puzzles for Alzheimer’s Patients

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Today Ceaco, a puzzles manufacturer who has supported PuzzlesToRemember since 2009, donated 113 new puzzles.


These puzzles vary greatly in their level of difficulty, so they will each be sent to a nursing facility unit matched for the ability of the residents. Senior citizens seem to especially enjoy animal puzzles.

More simple puzzles, like this American scene by Jane Wooster Scott, will be sent to facilities that have patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment. These puzzles have fewer pieces that are oversized and easier-to-grasp. Research shows that working on puzzles can help delay the point at which an early Alzheimer’s patient becomes no longer able to function in society.

Thank you, Ceaco, for continuing to help so many people, and a special thanks to Laura for accumulating these puzzles, keeping them for PuzzlesToRemember, and helping load them into my car today.

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.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

1,000 Alzheimer’s Facilities Have Received Puzzles

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Today, to celebrate the New Year, I delivered puzzles to my 999th and 1000th facility. The facility with the 1000th designation happened to be a Kindred Healthcare facility in Saugus, Massachusetts. That seemed fitting because my great grandmother spent the last weeks of her life being well-treated in a Kindred facility. Here are photos of my two deliveries.




I am also very happy to announce that Springbok’s newest PuzzlesToRemember will be available very soon. The new puzzles will include a country mill scene, a colorful fish scene, and a steam railway train. I think these images will be very memory provoking for Alzheimer’s patients, and the puzzles will be a great, activity for Alzheimer’s patients to share with their caregivers.

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.

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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