If you are a caregiver for someone who has an ongoing problem with memory, problem solving, judgment, or the ability to handle daily tasks, here are some suggestions that may be able to help you develop a plan to help. Be sure to speak with a doctor when developing your plan, since they may have other suggestions to add.
Establish a daily routine:
- Set up regular times for meals, baths, hobbies and a limited number of activities
- Make sure to warn your loved one about any upcoming changes in the schedule since people with memory problems do not adjust well to sudden changes in their routine.
A person with memory problems may be able to remember only a small amount of information at a time so be sure to give the short instructions.
- Use short, simple, familiar words and sentences
- Write out instructions
- Break tasks and instructions into clear, simple steps, one step at a time
Structure your environment to improve memory:
- Label objects
- Use lists, notes, and other helpful devices as reminders for them
- Put daily activities on a calendar or daily planner and keep it in a place where it can be seen easily
Create a safe environment:
- Lock all poisons and medicines in child-proof containers out of reach
- Use a medicine box with separate compartments for each day to help your loved one remember to take their medicines
- Review all medicines and dosages with a doctor
- Make your home safe from falls
Avoid or reduce stress:
- Maintain eye contact and use touch to reassure your loved one and show you are listening
- Allow them as many choices in daily activities as you can, as well as letting them select their clothing and food
- Avoid arguing with the person about things that don’t really matter. Just change the subject.