Navigating Memory Loss: 6 Effective Strategies for Alzheimer's Care
Memory loss is one of the key symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. It often affects short-term or recent memories first, slowly working its way into memories that have been stored for decades. It can be both frustrating and heartbreaking for both the person with Alzheimer’s disease and that person’s loved ones.
While your loved one might struggle to recall conversations, people, and events, you can use practical tools to help remind your loved one of something that is important to them. These little tools can then be used by other visitors, or their Alzheimer’s care provider to help them join in on conversations with less frustration.
Let’s look at some practical memory tools to use and provide support to your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Physical Prompts and Visual Cues
When someone you care for struggles to remember words, visuals can be helpful. If they’re unsure about breakfast choices, their Alzheimer’s care provider can show them pictures or hold up options like oatmeal and eggs. This can help them understand and choose what they want.
Look for Contextual Clues
Sometimes your loved one may struggle to find the word they need. Think about the conversation and offer several related words as prompts. Be patient, and you may help them find the word they’re searching for.
Creating and Implementing Notes
Capture memories for later. Write down important conversations and visits for your loved one to review. This helps them recall details, like a nephew’s visit or their Alzheimer’s care provider’s stop by, even if their memory is fading.
Photos to Reconnect with Loved Ones
Photos can spark memories of people. When someone struggles to recognize faces, show them pictures and describe who each person is. If their cousin is coming to visit, put out photos beforehand, and leave them out during the visit to help them recall and connect with their loved one.
Simplifying Communication for Improved Understanding
Less is often more when it comes to communication. If your loved one asks about a family member, like their niece, keep the answer brief and simple. This ensures they can understand and retain the information easily, without feeling overwhelmed by unnecessary details.
Utilizing Calendars and Daily Schedules
Put a large calendar on the wall and add important dates like birthdays and appointments, then cross off days once they’ve occurred. It’ll help your loved one remember what day today is.
Each person is different so make adaptations as needed to these tips to help your loved one be successful each day.