The benefits of photographs in early stages of dementia

Photographs can be extremely beneficial to a person in the early stages of dementia.


There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. More than 209,600 people will develop it this year.

Seeing old holiday snaps, family portraits or candid shots can help trigger old memories and give them a sense that they are still engaging with life.

We always encourage our carers to look at old photographs with the service users they look after. If you have an elderly relative or friend, you can also help them by flicking through old albums.

Family photos

Family photos are a great way to enable a person with the condition to try and remember certain events. The photos might also cause them to recognise and remember family members and friends in the photos too.

Nearby landmarks

Images of nearby landmarks and street scenes can trigger memories and create a real talking point. Childhood photo albums or scrap books/diaries are also a great help to sufferers as the images within may be very meaningful.

News stories

Old newspaper clippings are useful for triggering memories of a particular event that might have happened in a person’s hometown. Alternatively, clippings of an event that affected the whole country can help a person in the early stages remember, or feel a personal connection, due to the imagery used.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and we have shared a list of symptoms of the condition that people can look out for in their loved ones. Find our expert advice here.