As your elderly family member first starts dealing with the challenges of dementia, it can be frustrating to deal with memory problems. Some of these tips can help your elderly family member to balance independence and the changes that she’s experiencing in her brain.
Use a Notebook
A pocket-sized notebook that your senior carries with her can be a great idea. It allows her to have notes on her at all times that can help to prompt her memory and encourage her to be independent. It can also help to have a larger notebook that you keep in a central location, like on the kitchen counter. That’s a place where you can leave notes for your senior about her day and about what she might expect.
Label as Much as Possible
Labels might sound like an odd tool, but they can be incredibly helpful for your senior. In the beginning, your senior might have occasional moments where she doesn’t remember where something is, and labels can help. As her dementia progresses, your senior might not remember that there are things in cabinets and drawers. Labels, even picture labels, can help her immensely when she needs a particular item.
Keep Important Information Handy
Information that your senior needs, like her doctor’s contact information, needs to be somewhere that she can easily access and that is clearly labeled. Brightly colored notepaper and sticky notes can be a huge help with this sort of information. You might also use the central notebook in the kitchen as an information repository, too. Using tabs and dividers that stick onto the edge of a page helps your senior to find that particular page again.
Set up Routines and Schedules Every Day
Having structure is incredibly helpful for people with dementia. There’s a lot that slips through the mental cracks, but routines and schedules offer a framework that helps your senior to feel comfortable. Talk with her about what types of activities she wants to include in her daily life and work out a schedule now that she enjoys. As her dementia worsens, she might not remember the details, but that schedule will still help to give her structure.
Include Prompts within Routines
When you structure your senior’s routines, it helps if each event or activity ends with a prompt that helps to wrap up one situation and lead into another. This gives your senior a sense of closure and helps her to flow through her day. This can be tough to build in at first, but senior care providers can help you and your aging family member learn to do this on a regular basis until it becomes a habit.
Mixing and matching these tools can help your senior to find the combination that works the best for her. As her needs change, you may need to adjust some of the tools as well.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring a Caregiver in La Jolla, CA, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at Love 2 Live Care. Call Today 1-619-291-4663