Memory Mat

Helping people remember what they don't want to forget.

What is Memory Mat?

Memory Mat is a tangible personalized laminated placemat with pictures and phrases for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients as well as senior citizens who enjoy reminiscing about their past. It is a memory jogger for users and a conversation starter for caregivers.

What is the Importance?

According to the National Institute on Aging, more than 5.5 million Americans have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s Disease. Memory loss is one of the first symptoms of cognitive impairment, which includes forgetting the names and faces of friends and family, as well as their personal history. (https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet)

How Does it Work?

Memory Mat utilizes memory jogging cues to help improve episodic memory. “A 2017 study observed that reminiscence therapy significantly improved autobiographical episodic memory for the Alzheimer’s Disease patient group[1]…This therapy can take many forms, including simple reminiscence through discussion and visual stimuli of past events[2]. Simple reminiscence often utilizes props and may therefore benefit from key phrases and photos provided on a Memory Mat.”—Rebecca Howell, PhD Candidate, Spiegel Lab, Department of Chemistry, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

[1] Melendez JC, Torres M, Redondo R, Mayordomo T, Sales A. Effectiveness of follow-up reminiscence therapy on autobiographical memory in pathological ageing. 2017. International Journal of Psychology. 42(4):283-290.

[2] Woods B, O’Philbin L, Farrell EM, Spector AE, Orrell M. Reminiscence therapy for dementia. 2018. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 3: CD001120.

The Story Behind Memory Mat

As early as elementary school field trips, I have fond memories of visiting the local senior center and developing personal connections with the seniors there. With inspiration from a picture frame full of photographs, stories from my grandparents’ past, conversations with mentors and support from my family and friends, Memory Mat was created.

All donations are greatly appreciated to continue the production of Memory Mats.