Dementia makes it difficult for seniors to remember past events, future plans, speech, and responsibilities. However, the human brain is extremely complicated, so it’s possible for aging adults with dementia to remember something they have forgotten in the past. Memories for seniors with dementia tend to come and go over time. You can help your aging loved one remember important things more frequently with the following tips.
1. Write Down Reminders
In the early stages of dementia, seniors are still mostly capable of taking care of themselves, but they frequently misplace items and forget about appointments. An effective way of combating this memory issue is by keeping detailed lists and schedules. Make sure to write down all your loved one’s daily, weekly, and monthly tasks so he or she can check off items as they are completed. New phone apps make it easy to set reminders and let seniors know they have something to do.
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2. Use Visual Memory Aids
Seniors with dementia may not be able to recall past events instantly, but these memories may still be buried. Showing your loved one images may trigger a recall of these memories. Many seniors respond to photographs of events in their lives, so you might want to put together a photo album that contains meaningful pictures. Random images of a countryside, house, or city similar to one your loved one used to know can also boost recall.
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3. Talk in a Distraction-Free Environment
Because dementia makes it easy for seniors to get distracted, you should avoid trying to trigger memories in a busy environment. Your loved one will probably not be able to recall things if he or she is being overwhelmed by a crowded room with music or television playing. Any time you want to help your loved one recall something, go to a familiar environment that is peaceful and quiet.
4. Label Everything
It can be challenging for a senior with dementia to remember which door is the bathroom or recall where plates are placed in the kitchen. You can help your loved one remember things by using Post-it notes or another type of label to clearly state what lies behind each door, drawer, or cabinet. Use large, easy-to-read letters. Some seniors also benefit from a small picture on the label.
5. Play Meaningful Music
Music has an extremely powerful effect on the brain. In seniors with dementia, music can be used to boost memory. As your loved one listens to a familiar and beloved song, his or her brain will make connections to things that happened in the past while listening to music. For example, your loved one may be able to recall his or her spouse’s name and wedding date better when listening to music that was played at their wedding.
Living alone with dementia can become challenging for older adults. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Milwaukee Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at Milwaukee (414) 964-8000 or Waukesha (262) 782-3383.