Memory loss can be a terrifying thing to watch someone you love go through. What’s even more difficult is when memory loss starts affecting day-to-day life and they need help remembering things like how to use the stove or find their way around town. One of the best ways to help your loved ones is by being there for them, but there are some other techniques that will also help with memory retention and general cognitive function.
1. Check in on your loved one
First and foremost, it is important to check in on your loved one. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but you need to make sure they are okay and that their memory loss has not gotten worse since the last time you visited them if it had improved then this would of course also fall under checking in with them.
Make a note of their memory issues when you visit so that later down the line when things have progressed or improved you can show yourself how far they came by looking back at what was happening before.
Being able to see which stage your elderly relative is currently stuck in will help immensely as some memory problems are more circumstantial than others, for example forgetting where something happened versus being unable to recall recent events or conversations. This memory loss can be caused by many different things including memory problems, depression, and anxiety.
2. Consider a senior care facility
Nowadays many old people and their families are searching for more memory care facilities. It is not easy to be a caregiver, but some memory loss symptoms can’t be handled at home anymore. Should that happen, you can just search online for a memory care company in St. Louis, if you, for instance, live somewhere in Missouri. Once you reach the point where your loved one needs 24-hour supervision, it’s time to find an assisted living facility that specializes in memory care services such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
3. Make a list of people who can help with errands and other tasks
This is a great way for memory loss sufferers to still feel independent and involved. It will also help them with their memory as they have to think of who all needs to be contacted or visited.
You can make this list on paper, in an Excel spreadsheet, or even keep it online where everyone has access at any time. A family member may not always be available when your loved one needs something done so having the list somewhere accessible like this could really come in handy!
4. Create an emergency kit for your loved one’s car or house
Having an emergency kit in your elderly loved one’s car or house is an excellent way to ensure that they are always prepared for any memory loss emergencies when you may not be around.
Make sure it has all of the essentials, such as water bottles, non-perishable snacks like granola bars, extra sets of keys, and medication lists.
Don’t forget things like flashlights if their memory loss makes them unable to see well at night!
If possible, purchase a phone charger so they can have access to technology even if the battery on their cell phone runs out while out driving or away from home. Having this emergency kit ready will provide peace of mind knowing that nothing has been forgotten in case there is ever an issue with memory loss where help is needed.
5. Keep a journal of daily activities
Keeping a memory journal is a great way to help your memory-impaired parents. On days that you visit them, have one of their family members write down in the memory book what they did with them during the day. This can be anything from going out for breakfast together or doing chores around the house. If you are unable to do this on days when someone else visits them maybe try keeping track of daily activities via a voice recorder which you could leave playing while they are engaged in another activity so you would not miss any memories being created but also still be able to keep track without having anyone take note for you at all times.
6. Provide the person with an activity calendar, so they know what to expect each day
Another way to provide memory assistance to your elderly loved ones is by providing them with an activity calendar. This will let the person know what they can expect each day and this way, you won’t be taking away their independence since they will feel like there aren’t any surprises coming up that could catch them off guard.
Hobbies or activities for memory loss: There are countless hobbies and activities you can suggest in order to keep their memory active and healthy. It’s very important not to force anything on them, but instead, ask if they would like help finding a new hobby or activity of interest so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. Some great ideas include cooking classes (if he/she likes cooking), music lessons (even when playing alone) such as the piano or guitar, playing memory games with a friend, and more.
7. Encourage them to write down their thoughts and memories
Last but not least, the memory specialist suggests that you encourage your loved ones to write down their thoughts and memories. So many times, people with memory issues either forget what they wanted to say or are unable to properly express themselves – writing can help them voice their concerns.
However, don’t expect the person to remember every single word on paper by memory alone; be sure that there is someone who will read it back for him/her if need be. Sometimes hearing one’s own words can trigger something in his mind!
Also, it can be a good idea to record the conversations you have with your loved ones. This way, if they do forget something or misstate an important memory detail, there will still be a written account of what was said for reference later on down the road.
You can help make sure your loved one is getting the support they need by checking in on them and creating a list of people who can provide assistance. It’s also important to create an emergency kit for their car or house, keep a journal of daily activities, and provide them with an activity calendar so they know what to expect each day.
Finally, you should encourage your loved ones to write down their thoughts and memories so that they have something concrete from which to draw strength when times get tough. We hope these tips will help you navigate this difficult time while still providing all the care and attention your family member needs during such trying circumstances.
Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash