If you love someone with memory loss, you know that it can make everyday life challenging and often stressful for all involved. While it may be your first instinct to help the individual or speak on their behalf, this often can aggravate and confuse the person suffering with memory issues. There are some things that can help make your loved one more comfortable and that may even preserve or improve their memory, in general.
Some tips that may help your loved one with memory include:
Keep older minds active. It is always a worthwhile effort to encourage seniors or folks with memory issues to do puzzles, word games, or any activity that engages and requires thought. Some theorize that the more you use your memory, the longer it will last.
Watch for signs of sun-downing. If the memory loss that your loved one is experiencing gets worse after dark, it could be a sign of dementia. Sun-downing is a well-known phenomenon that relates to decreased memory and increased confusion after dark or at nighttime. If this seems to be the case, be sure to mention this to your loved one's physician.
Remind them of long-term memories. Instead of focusing on new events, current photos, and recent happenings, get your loved one to reflect or talk about long-term memories, which they may have intact. Clip photos from years ago on the fridge or put older pictures in frames to display. Many folks with memory issues have long-term memories that they can and will talk about when invited.
Don't finish sentences for them. When someone with memory issues is struggling to find the right words or complete a thought, it might seem kind to speak for them. This can make the individual feel devalued or demoralized, so let them finish what they are trying to say.
Create comfortable silence. Someone with memory issues related to dementia may seem introverted or brooding; the fact is that often they are uncomfortable talking or straining to find the right words. Create a comfortable environment when with this person, allowing you both to sit quietly and not feel obligated to talk. If it seems awkward, play some soft music.
Talk to your physician or therapist about activities and options for helping a loved one cope with memory loss. Remember that the inability to remember something is likely scary and confusing for your loved one, and even though it can be stressful, remain calm and patient. This attitude can help reduce anxiety in tense or uncomfortable situations.
Contact a business like Gateway Living for more help.