Memory loss is very common in elderly people and even if they do not develop a serious condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is likely that they will forget things from time to time. In some cases, this doesn’t really affect their life too much but it can make it difficult for them to live independently if they forget important things, like taking medication or eating.
As we get older, it falls to us to care for elderly loved ones, and managing memory issues is often a big part of this. If you want them to be able to live independently, you need to find ways to help them manage their memory problems so they can be safe and comfortable. Here’s how you can support an elderly family member with memory problems.
Be Realistic About The Scale Of The Problem
Often, it can be hard to admit that your loved ones are losing their memory and so people are in denial about it. They just put it down to age and say that it’s not that serious, they’re just forgetting a few details here and there. However, if somebody in your life is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, they need a lot of care and assistance if they are able to live safely. So, be realistic about the situation and if you are concerned, take them to the doctor to get checked. You may need to consider long-term care options like a senior community with a dedicated memory care service. If you are not honest with yourself and your family about the scale of the problem, you could be putting your loved ones in danger.
Memory loss is very frustrating and when they forget things, they may get angry about it. If they forget something very important, it could be frustrating for you too. But if you are not understanding the situation, it only makes things worse. It’s important that you are patient with them and you reassure them that you forget things too and it’s ok. The more understanding you are, the less stressful this situation will be for them.
Lists are the easiest way to remember things, so when you visit loved ones, talk to them about their schedule for the next few days and then write some simple lists to help them remember things. Sticky notes around the house can be very helpful too. For example, if they need to take medication, put a small note somewhere they will see when they get up, so they always remember. If they have a smartphone and they are comfortable using it, you can add reminders to it as well.
Help Them Keep Their Brain Active
Keeping your brain active is so important as you get older and it helps to slow and prevent memory loss. If you are concerned about a loved one’s memory, you should find ways to keep their brain active as much as possible. Helping them to be more socially active is very beneficial, and you could encourage them to do puzzles and play games too.
Dealing with memory loss is tough but it’s something that many of us will experience. If you follow these steps, you can support a loved one with memory loss.
This is a collaborative post.