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MemPics®:  The book series that promotes cognitive health and meaningful engagement in adults with memory concerns.

The MemPics® book series is based on research conducted in the BCAT Research Center. It is a component of the larger BCAT® Approach, which integrates cognitive assessment, cognitive treatment, and prevention strategies for dementia.  MemPics® books are designed to engage participants who have memory loss in fun and cognitively enhancing activities. The books activate old memories through pictures and conversations about familiar people, places, object, and events. Activating old memories provides a foundation for engaging participants in directed conversation to improve cognitive performance.  Each MemPic® book has six separate activities.  Each activity has four components: a picture, fun facts, prompting questions, and a brief story.

MemPics® can be used individually or in small groups.  Participants can use books by themselves, with family members and friends, and as a part of a group event.  For each activity, one can utilize all four features, or focus on just the picture, fun facts, prompting questions, or the story. You can choose any exercise, and proceed through the book in any way you choose.  Research shows that MemPics® is more effective when each participant has her own book. 

To read about MemPics® in scientific peer reviewed journals, click here.

MemPics® activities are most effective when the emphasis is placed on engagement and conversation, not simply completing activities.

The Pictures

Each picture represents potentially familiar people, places, objects, or events.  Old memories tend to be better preserved than recent memories in people with cognitve disorders, and can provide a foundation for stimulating cognition and thinking.  Color pictures used mostly, based on research suggesting that they more effectively evoke memory responses than pictures without color.  One way to begin using the picture effectively is to ask the participant, "What do you see in this picture?"  Based on the response, you can ask follow-up questions.  You can use the "prompting questions" in the book to guide you.

The Fun Facts

These are simply interesting facts that can be shared and discussed by participants.  They provide opportunities for stimulating old memories and asking questions that encourage cognitive processing.  They can be read and then discussed.

The Prompting Questions

These questions encourage cognitive processing. Examples are provided.  The activity leader or caregiver can use simpler or more complicated ones, depending on the cognitive skills of the participants.

The Stories

The brief stories can be read out loud by the activity leader (or caregiver) or by participants.  We learn, communicate, and are entertained through stories.  Research has demonstrated that reading can engage participants who are otherwise quiet and isolative.  More than anything else, the stories can be fun and stimulating.  You can stop reading the story at any time to ask questions and encourage participants to share their memories and opinions.

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