It is a simple fact of life that as we age, our memory tends to diminish. Not everyone will suffer from the same amount of loss of memory, but nearly all will find some degree of difficulty when trying to remember even the simplest things.
Many older adults rely on family to help them with their memory loss as the most simple of tasks become frustrating and unattainable.
Some individuals will go into memory care communities where they are taken care of and given a safe space to live.
Here are 8 ways to help your loved one when they are suffering from memory loss.
1. Practice Patience
Memory loss is a difficult illness to comprehend for the person suffering from it. They will become frustrated easily as once routine tasks become problematic and challenging.
They will look to you for answers, many of which you won’t have. The best you can do is reteach them what they are trying to do.
For example, tying their shoes. Take your time and be patient for they are like children, relearning something you take for granted and do every day without thinking.
2. Avoid Changes
It is best to keep the same routine with a loved one who is suffering from retention issues. Keep items they use, such as a coffee mug or a television remote control, in the same spot day after day. This will help them retain the memory of an item better when it is always in the same location.
If your loved one can still read, make a list or draw a map of what is to go on and when. Labeling everything and each room will also be helpful.
Writing out the steps to making coffee or getting dressed, from choosing a top and bottom, will help them feel more independent and boost their self-confidence.
3. Limit Anxiety
Many individuals with memory problems have higher anxiety when they feel they can’t do something they have always done.
Don’t make a big deal out of anything when it comes to what they are doing. If the person is using a fork upside down or can’t figure out how to brush their teeth, don’t get upset about it.
You can correct them without saying a word, or tell them to try it “this way” and show them the correct way to do what they are failing to comprehend.
Always try your hardest not to make a big deal out of something and don’t show your own frustrations if…
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