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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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Power of Puzzles

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By Max Wallack  
Puzzles to Remember
I want to share the email below that I received yesterday from a woman in Florida who wishes to pass on her puzzles to others through PuzzlesToRemember.  (I think we have found a good home for these puzzles.)

My mom is suffering from Alzheimer's. 

We noticed changes in her for a while but she and my dad wouldn't let us help. Mom had a bad fall and wound up in the hospital with dehydration and a UTI. When she was sent to a rehab center she was so shaken and not responding to anything. I spoke to doctors/OTs/PTs and aides. She wasn't responsive or active at all. One day I decided to go to the dollar store and as I shopped for puzzles - the simplest we're 10-20 piece Disney puzzles for children 2-5 - I sat down and cried. 

I took a puzzle to mom when I went to the rehab that day and she yelled at me. "I'm not doing this" "what is this?" And she tossed it to the side. Is shook my head but at least I tried - at this point nothing was working. 

The next day when I got to the rehab center, just before I entered the room I heard mom mumbling to herself. I stood outside and listened. I glanced in to see her in her chair leaning over her food tray table putting the puzzle pieces together. I smiled.....and cried again. I went inside and although the pieces weren't all in the right places I told her it was amazing and I was so happy. We talked a bit and then I asked if I could work on the puzzle and we'd do it together. I had always loved puzzles as a kid and worked had on them together back then. 

Mom is home now and we have progressed - more difficult puzzles, beading, puzzles with word or number associations. Her caregivers love them. I read about your amazing organization - Now it's time to pass along some of the puzzles. 

Please let me know how I can do this. Thank you
 

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