If one of your loved ones has struggled with memory loss, then you’ve probably witnessed the frustration, isolation, and depression that can often result. There are ways to help them stay engaged and even more independent for longer. For those who are already receiving some level of memory care, your support is still critical.
What Memory Loss Could Look Like
Memory Loss can come in a few forms and in varying degrees, some of which can increase over time.
- Slow memory retrieval – If they can recall a conversation or remember an object’s placement, it might take the extra time or a prompt to do so.
- Inability to retrieve memories – Even if they can create or record new memories, they don’t have access to them when they want them.
- Inability to record new memories – Making new memories is difficult or impossible. This can lead to disorientation and to feelings of not being heard or being gaslighted when they cannot recall recent conversations.
What You Can Do
How might family members help mitigate some of their challenges and ultimately support those with memory impairment daily whether in their home or an assisted living center? We have a few practical suggestions:
- Journaling – This could be in written form or pictures. Encourage them to write in a diary, calendar, or daily agenda book about important conversations or events.
- Repeated questions – Simply answer the question, even if you must repeat it. Write it down as a record if necessary.
- Forgetting words– Be patient and give them time. Don’t stress them out. Choose a better time to chat if they’re tired.
- Create a memory tool – Create a photo album, scrapbook, or box of photos and info for your loved one to refer to when necessary. It might briefly describe relationships along with pictures of buildings and people they need to interact with.
It can be difficult to always know what to do or say when loved ones struggle to understand their circumstances, to remember events, or even other people. The staff at Gianna Homes appreciates the challenges and emotions experienced by you and your family members. We’re always here for guidance to help your family member cope with their memory loss issues. Contact us today with your questions or concerns.