As the body ages, we lose our capacity to store memories. This has the potential to hamper our relationships and our ability to handle cognitive tasks. While forgetfulness is normal during a person’s senior years, it becomes a problem as it leads to certain forms of dementia. In the United States alone, there are more than 6.2 million people over the age of 65 with Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s important for family members to learn more about the effects of memory loss and how to live with seniors who have it. Here’s what you can do to help elders with memory problems get through life:
1. Observe patience and understanding
It can be frustrating at times to care for elders who tend to forget basic information easily, but you have to put yourself in their shoes and deal with it as a medical condition. It’s not like they are choosing to forget, so try to keep calm and be patient with them. Provide as much support as you can as they make the effort to remember people, events, or doing a specific task.
2. Communicate clearly and concisely
As you talk to elders with dementia, make it easier for them to remember certain commands and requests. It’s best that you make your sentences short, simple, and audible. Give them time to process the words you say and respond accordingly if they need you to clarify what you said. If you need to explain a process or task to them, go through it in detail. Don’t assume that they would understand your instructions immediately.
3. Get professional help
Dealing with a loved one with dementia is difficult considering the emotional toil it also brings to the family. It often helps to hire someone who is trained to handle the needs of elders with memory loss. A caregiver will not only help with specific household chores and tasks but also provide support in helping your loved one regain their memory. You just need to reach out to an establishment that provides in-home services for dementia patients.
4. Find an ideal assistive community
If you are considering the possibility of finding a nursing home, opt instead for a community that provides the best senior care for your loved ones. There are a number of assisted living communities you can seek out. You just need to pick one that specifically caters to patients with dementia for the long term. Be sure to visit frequently and spend quality time with them.
5. Learn more about the condition
Caring for a loved one with memory loss requires the need to do away with any false notions about the condition. It’s easy to let your emotions dictate your decisions, but it means so much for the patient if you make the effort to understand what they are going through. Their journey is your journey as well, so find out more about the strategies you can use to help them overcome this problem.
Memories have the tendency to fade, but that doesn’t mean your loved ones should learn to live with this fact. Help them through it by using the tips above.