A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
By: Michelle Remold
People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. We take pictures of family gatherings, important moments, vacations, birthdays, holidays, and many more. I spent this past weekend in Wisconsin spending time with my family. We played games, went on a tour, made food, and spent a lot of time laughing. We documented the weekend with pictures and anytime we want to look back at the weekend, we have pictures to look at.
Over the course of the weekend I realized how important pictures really are. Older photos may help the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia through recalling memories from growing up or from when they were younger. My grandma has many older photos in her room. She has trouble with present events, but speaks of things from the past often; she likes looking at the older photos and talking about them. They give us a peek of family members who have passed or events that have occurred. They also provide the staff of nursing facilities to see that the person was like before. My grandpa was a painter and a carpenter, so activities based on this may have been of interest to him. He also spent a lot of time holding a stuffed dog, the reasoning behind this is that he and my grandma many years back had a French Poodle named Pierre. Pictures can convey these things without needing much explanation.
Picture are also important to family members. I have my pictures from college in albums organized by year, it’s fun to go back through them and see what all I did. I still remember the feeling of thinking that four years was forever and that I would never graduate, but the time flew by. I also look back at pictures of my grandpa. There are pictures of us feeding the geese when I was two, pictures of us after my brother was born, pictures at the park, or the picture of the last grandparent’s day he went to at my school. As time wore on we have pictures of him eating his favorite cake with us, just sitting outside, his last Christmas when my brother and I were dancing with him in his wheel chair, and his 90th birthday when we threw a party for him. I enjoy looking back at all of these pictures. It reminds me of all the fun times we had even though Alzheimer’s was a part of many of the pictures. I wouldn’t trade any of those pictures for anything though, each one of them makes me smile.
Pictures can serve many purposes. They can be used in shadow or memory boxes, in picture frames, photo albums, videos, blankets, slide shows, and many more. The one thing I have always noticed though is that people are always curious about the story behind the picture and why the picture is important to you. I think that is why they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.