Memory Tips to Help Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s

August 11, 2015

Living with Alzheimer’s can be very trying. Seniors with this condition often forget where they are and even who they are, which makes navigating home and traveling outside of their comfort zone very difficult, if not impossible. As a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s, you can take some measures to help your loved one work on their memory. Here are some tips to try:

Encourage Cleanliness and Organization

If your senior family members walk in the door and toss their keys wherever, they will likely have difficulty remembering where they put them later. Teach them repeatedly to leave the keys and other important things in the same place. This will make it much more likely that they can find the items when necessary. This is a part of cleanliness, which makes finding things more manageable.

 

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You should also help your loved one pay attention to hygiene. Get them into a tooth-brushing routine and wash up every morning and night. Habits like this are a significant stability factor in the lives of seniors, especially those who are losing their long- and short-term memories. If the senior is in assisted living, work with the staff to establish a routine based on the scheduled community activities like meals and classes. This will help them ease into living in a new place and allow for some independence while they can still take care of themselves.

Encourage your senior loved one to write down important things to help them remember.Encourage your senior loved one to write down important things to help them remember.

Write Things Down

When your parent or other senior friend or relative is not ready for assisted living but has some memory trouble, it’s a good idea to start writing things down. Keep a notebook by the phone filled with important information like phone numbers for family members, the police, and their doctor. Also, a calendar or planner should be added so they can write down physician appointments, dates for social gatherings, and other events. If you call them, remember they should write down what you’re saying, even if it’s just “Do the laundry on Thursday.” This way, your senior loved one has something to turn to when they forget what they are supposed to be doing on a particular day or whether they have any plans.

Use Repetition

Even people undergoing Alzheimer’s treatment have difficulty with memory. One way to help them recall something is to use repetition. If you are coming to visit on Saturday, for instance, have your senior loved one repeat this fact multiple times. Then, ask them what’s happening on Saturday. If they do not reply that you are going to visit, tell them again and repeat the information. This can be frustrating for you and the senior, but it can make a big difference in their recall capabilities. Encourage other members of your family and friends of the senior also to try this method. You may see a difference in their accountability as the repetition helps them recall essential facts.

Take Control

It can be a scary time when you’re watching someone with Alzheimer’s continue to lose their memory. At this period, taking control of some aspects of their life that they can no longer handle alone is important. This may mean helping with their finances by paying all their bills and supplying them with a weekly allowance. It may seem insensitive, but this can prevent people with memory loss from losing their wallets and even forgetting to pay the rent. Memory issues will not affect whether a senior goes to lunch on time – they can have profound implications if the recall issues involve money matters. Your loved one may even require a move to assisted living. Here, seniors will have the care they need and people around to help them whenever necessary.

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