Memory Care America - July/August 2020

If you’ve reached a point in your life where you’ve started to downsize, then you’ve likely grappled with the difficult task of getting rid of photos. After decades of life, how are you supposed to choose which memories are important enough to keep and which aren’t? These four rules can help make this daunting task easier. Rule No. 1: Cut Scenic Views You don’t need dozens of photos of that campsite you went to on vacation one summer. If a location was really meaningful, like the beach at your honeymoon, then keep a few, but pictures of the places you’ve been to are far less special than pictures of the people you love. Rule No. 2: Tell a Story When you look at a photo, does it make you want to tell a story about the people or places in the image? Could you share plenty of stories about riding around in Dad’s old truck or about how funny your best friend from college was? Keep those photos. Pictures of people whose names you can’t remember or blurry photos you can’t make out can all go. Rule No. 3: Edit Well If you have a lot of photos from a specific event or part of your life, think about how long each “chapter” of your life story would be. How much time would you spend writing about your cousin’s wedding or high school prom? If a certain event didn’t have that much meaning in your life, why dedicate pages and pages of a photo album to it? Rule No. 4: Throw Photos Away If a photo isn’t important enough to put in an album or frame on the wall, then it doesn’t need to stick around. Don’t put them in a box you’ll have to sort through later. Let the rejects go. After all that hard work, treat yourself to a photo album shopping spree so you can start organizing the meaningful photos you have left. FEEL BAD ABOUT THROWING AWAY PHOTOS? 4 Rules for Guilt-Free Photo Downsizing

Sharing Your Stories

Bessie Pitt Finds a New Home in the Ashes of an Old One

Brenda Nabors believes she is blessed that her mother-in-law is Bessie Pitt — or “the old Bess,” as the family lovingly calls her. Brenda married Bessie’s only child, Allen.

“She was the mother-in-law that everybody wishes that they had,”

Brenda recalls, saying that she never felt anything but acceptance from Bessie. “You wanted to be at her house.” Bessie had many friends, was frequently involved in her church, and helped her husband run the business they started together. Brenda explained that Bessie and her husband, Bill Pitt, were soul mates who were married for nearly four

decades. After Bill’s death in 2000, Bessie continued to remain active and involved in her grandchildren’s lives, attending their ballet recitals and other important events. (Today, Bessie also has two great-grandchildren and a third on the way!) In 2009, the family noticed Bessie was keeping secrets, including the early stages of a brain disorder. Bessie was eventually diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), which deteriorates the body more rapidly than Alzheimer’s disease. As Allen describes it, it’s like having Parkinson’s disease without the tremors. Bessie’s family moved her to a different senior living facility for additional care, but after the community caught fire, Bessie was among the dozen displaced residents in the facility’s memory care unit. (Readers may remember from a previous edition that our Memory Care of New Braunfels community welcomed the new residents.) For her family, the fire became a blessing in disguise because it led them to a community they now call home.“We really fell in love with the staff,” Brenda says. “We knew they were doing a genuine job for my mother-in-law and all the residents there from the other home.” Since the pandemic has eliminated the possibility of daily visits for Brenda and Allen, Brenda says she has appreciated the efforts of staff to keep her connected to her mother-in-law. She and Allen often receive photos of Bessie, and the couple attended the community’s parking lot parade. They enjoyed seeing Bessie’s smile, even if it was just for a few minutes. Seeing that smile, from the mother and grandmother who has done so much for her family, friends, and community throughout her life, was just what Allen and Brenda needed to know Bessie is in good hands. If you know of a family who could benefit from our services, don’t keep our work a secret! Referrals are the best compliment you can give us. Direct them to, or find us on Facebook.


Do Not Keep Our Work a Secret!

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