Online Memory book blog - ForgetMeNotBook
Changes to Monopoly pieces bring back family memories

The recent news that facebook fans of the board game "Monopoly" have voted to change the iron piece for a cat has brought back many childhood memories of a true family favourite.

The makers of the board game, Hasbro Inc have over 10 million facebook followers. In an attempt to make the game more relevant and engaging, an online competition was started to decide what piece had to go and what would replace it. Over the game's 80 year history there have been changes to the pieces but this one marks the first time that fans had a chance to vote for their favourite piece.

I remember playing Monopoly as a child. My sister and I always fought for the Scottie dog, he was my very favourite but I'd have to settle for the top hat or the car. My Grandmother always had the "old boot" as she referred to it. Now we are playing Monopoly with our own children.

The game can last for hours. I remember when I left my husband and children playing it over the Christmas holidays one year. I went shopping and on my return 3 hours later they were all still at it and mortgaged to the hilt! It was interesting to discover more about my children, the game strategies they employed. One would go hell for leather and spend, spend, spend, buying everything they landed on. The other would be much more cautious saving up all their money. The first time I ever played Monopoly with my now husband, I was surprised to learn how very competitive he was. I hadn't seen this aspect of his character manifest itself before to such an extent. It brought a demon out in him. I thought he would be kind and gentle when my luck was down but quite the contrary, he went for the jugular. Quite disconcerting.

Read more about the Monopoly game iron piece replacement story here in the Huffington Post

 

 
National Storytelling week reminds us why stories are so important.

“Storytelling is at the root of every art form: we think in story form, make sense of our world in narrative – from something we’ve seen, through last night’s television, to what family and folk stories we remember and retell”. Source: Society for Storytelling .

 

National Story telling week Sat 26th Jan - Sat 2nd Feb 2013, is a great opportunity for Care Homes. Bupa is leading the way by hosting events during the week and inviting members of the local community to join in the fun. The full article can be found here at Care Industry News. If you are looking for a good care home for your relative, take note of those that seize on initiatives such as this to create a vibrant and stimulating environment, especially where they seek to involve the local community.

 

Story telling need not be recounting Brothers Grimm fairy tales but the folklore you and your friends and family create throughout your lives. Think of the times you meet up with a group of old friends and retell old stories. You know these stories off by heart of course but laugh as much as the first time they were told. This type of story telling is important as it helps you remember how special these people are to you and why.

 
Saying thank you and farewell

The end of term school Christmas Carol concert not only meant Christmas was just round the corner and the holidays were nearly upon us but it was also the date set to say good bye to our wonderful music teacher, who had decided to step down from much of the school's musical activities, and to thank her for the musical opportunities she had given to the children. 

A group of parents came together to show our music teacher just how much she was appreciated, not just by them, but their children too. They decided to create a very special leaving gift by collecting their memories, stories and farewell messages within a forget me not book. We had 26 stories in total, written by both children and their parents and illustrated with their photographs. The photographs and stories ranged from school productions, concerts and orchestra practice. There were also some lovely words:

"All my children have really enjoyed taking part and and I am so pleased that they have been given opportunities to perform in front of an audience too. The kids think she is great, and so do I - especially since helping out at Orchestra and realizing how much work it involves."

"You have been an inspiration to her and we feel so lucky to have had you as her teacher."

"A huge big Thank You for your inspirational music teaching - you have made music fun and accessible to so many children (and grown-ups but that's another book!) - your enthusiasm and good humor, in all the fantastic events you have run over the years, has been amazing."

"And thank you for all the effort you've put in at the school over the years with orchestra, choirs, music lessons, concerts, plays... I think the school has been very lucky to have you and you really will be missed."

The book was printed and presented in church following a lovely Christmas concert (you know the ones, the ones that bring a lump to your throat). Our music teacher was completely blown away by her memory book, after she realised what it was. She had never seen anything like this before and was so touched, she even shed a tear. The children were fascinated with with the book too and gathered around to see it. They were especially interested in seeing themselves and their friends in print. A great success!

farewell gift

farewell memory book

 
Somerset Care launch memory books to activities co-ordinators

Life histories are central to person-centred care. They provide a wealth of personal information that carers can use everyday to connect with the people they look after. The challenge is to capture information early, to use and update that information regularly and to balance that with all the other demands on staff time.

One approach that might offer a solution has been taken by Somerset Care. They have chosen to use Forget Me Not Book as their life history toolkit primarily as it ticked a number of boxes; it was intuitive to use and private, but being web based allowed for multiple family members to join in the generation of loved ones books. This has encouraged more people to be more regularly and actively involved as a result of updating their books. This still didn't cover the issues of time or rather lack of it.

Once again Somerset Care demonstrated pragmatism and commitment and invited us to present to their 50 or so activities co-ordinators at their annual training days. Time to sing the praises of all you activities co-ordinators out there! It takes a special person to be an activities co-ordinator. You need to care, have bags of energy and imagination be a good communicator, work well in a team, be organised and empathetic and go that extra yard. But being so good at all the above leaves little time to take on life histories as well.

The answer is not to think in terms of one person in the home taking responsibility for doing a whole life history for a resident. This is just not practical. However if you think about who could learn HOW to do this, who could act as the facilitator, the expert within the home that families can turn to for support and to help them to get started then it becomes much more manageable and not quite so daunting. We concentrated our presentation on who we were and what Forget Me Not Book was all about, the bigger ideas about where this could lead and how it could help care staff families and the residents but the bulk of the day was spent with the activities co-ordinators in small groups getting hands on. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with even those staff members nervous of the technology left feeling enthusiastic about having a go.

We gave each of them with the small task of putting their favourite activity into a shared book. The finished book will therefore have contributions from up to fifty of the co-ordinators which will make a varied and interesting book for them all to share and learn from without it being a difficult or time consuming exercise for any one person.

This is one of the key advantages of the way in which Forget Me Not Book works, we want to share the load, get more people more actively and regularly involved with their loved ones in care and now we have a small but enthusiastic army of activities co-ordinators who can help explain that to families and help them to get started.

We'd like to extend our thanks to Somerset Care for inviting us, for their innovative thinking and for their commitment to improving the lives of the people in their care. We'd also like to thank the activities co-ordinators for welcoming us and for being so positive!

If you'd like to know more about activity coordinator training days or how we can help you develop your life history work as well as aiding you to forge stronger links with families then please get in touch This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Tel: +44 (0)1225 891778

 
Saving Family Memories in Care Homes

We are always very happy to help anyone new to Forget Me Not book to create their own memory book. During a visit to Stratton House, Bath (a care home managed by the charity MHA) we spent a very enjoyable morning talking to a lovely couple, Jerry and Andrea, who wished to start a book for Andrea's mother Sylvia, who is resident at the home.

Jerry and Andrea had brought with them a collection of photographs which we scanned so they could easily be uploaded into their new online memory book. As we took them through the simple process of creating stories within the book we were able to have a laugh together about all the memories that the photographs triggered. How I love my job, seeing the enjoyment that reminiscing can bring.

saving family memories

We needed to establish the purpose of the book. Was it for them to recall their memories and stories about Sylvia or was it to record Sylvia's own stories? Andrea and Jerry had brought in with them old family photos, the book was to record events in the life of Andrea's mother. This is where we become a little unstuck. Some of the photos were of times before they themselves were born and some were of people they didn't know or events that they hadn't attended. So how do you write stories of things you don't know about?

There is, of course, the perfect solution. We uploaded the photos into the online book giving them a quick title. During their regular visits to see Andrea's mother, they were going to talk to her about the photos and record her own reminiscences. Stratton House has wi-fi and Jerry takes in his ipad anyway to show Andrea's mother their digital photos. They did agree that they can sometimes run out of things to talk about when visiting so this project gave them plenty of subject matter. Jerry and Andrea have since began work in earnest on their project and have invited other family members from around the world to visit and contribute to the book which will be printed very soon.

If you would like us to visit your care home to help relatives get started on creating memory books of their own or maybe you are someone who needs old photos scanned, then please do get in contact with us on +44 (0)1225 891778 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it We would be delighted to help.

 

 
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