How Does A Memory Box Help People With Dementia?

Boots perfumes

225,000 people will develop dementia this year, yet 46% of carers struggle to provide appropriate and stimulating recreational activities for people with dementia according to research by the Alzheimer’s Society.  For someone living with dementia, it’s the minute by minute experiences which help enrich their lives. An incremental moment in time, in which a memory is sparked or a human connection is made, is precious.

Boots has been working with Professor Victoria Tischler, a specialist in dementia care at the University of West London to evaluate how multi-sensory memory boxes, using items from the Boots archive, can have a therapeutic benefit for care home residents living with dementia. Professor Tischler is particularly interested in how the sense of smell can trigger memories, making the Boots archive a rich resource as it contains tens of thousands of items such as scents, soaps, creams and lotions that date back to the 1800s.

A Boots Memory Box

Boots perfume essence if

One of the Boots perfumes in the memory box.

Do you remember Les Fleurs by Boots?


We have captured one of these memory box sessions on camera for the very first time and turned it into a poignant and heart-warming film:


It was filmed last week at Nightingale House Care Home in South West London and focuses on the reactions and memories of residents, sparked from products which are a part of the Boots archive.  One of the most moving moments is when the husband of one of the care home residents talks about how touched he was by her reaction to the box, as she doesn’t normally speak or interact at all. The reactions of all the residents and their families is truly something special.

To find out more about how Boots supports people living with dementia and for tips on creating your very own memory box visit  or pick up a Living with Dementia guide in-store.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!