Useful Strategies for Coping with Memory Problems
Day to day life can become more complicated if you're living with memory problems. So here are some useful strategies that you can put in place to help you or a loved one cope with memory loss.
As care providers, we often work with customers who live with memory problems. There are many reasons why someone may have difficulties remembering, such as the side effects of medication, trauma, dementia or brain injury. Whatever the reason, there are strategies that can help someone who has memory loss to cope with everyday life. Here are some useful tips that you and the person you care for could try to make everyday life easier and less frustrating.
Make routine a big part of your life.
A lack of routine is enough to make life more complicated for anyone, but if you live with memory loss, disorganisation can make things particularly difficult. Sticking to a set routine helps people recognise what’s happening on a daily basis without having to draw upon their memory too much.
Using large, clear wall calendars or sticky notes to write down tasks and events can be helpful. Also displaying visual aids like picture prompts, flyers for events and appointment cards will assist the person in remembering important activities. A good strategy is to reinforce these visual memory prompts up with verbal reminders.
A change to routine can be enough to throw any of us, so it’s especially important to regularly remind the person with memory issues of any change in plans and make sure it’s prominently added to any memory systems you’ve put in place.
Make your environment memory friendly
Whether it’s your home or any other environment that you spend time in regularly, like a workplace, make the space work for you. If you have trouble finding important items, like your glasses or your phone, get in to the habit of always keeping them in your pocket or on your person so you don’t have to search for them. If you can’t do that, always keep certain items in the same place to help avoid confusion.
Labelling cupboards with written signs or picture prompts can also help someone remember where to find particular items and return them after use. If a person has trouble navigating their environment, labelling doors to different rooms can be a useful strategy to reduce the chance of them getting lost, confused and frustrated.
Make the most of memory aids
As well as the obvious memory aids like calendars, notes and labels there are lots of other very effective systems and devices that can aid those with memory loss. An everyday item like a smart phone has a multitude of features, such as calendar reminders, alarms and voice recording which can be used to set prompts. Or there are memory aids that have been specifically designed for people with dementia or similar memory difficulties. Talking clocks and medication prompters, for example, can help people manage their own time and health more efficiently.
If technology isn’t your cup of tea, a good old-fashioned notebook and pen might do the trick. Everyone is different, so it’s a matter of trying things out and determining what works best for you.
Support in your home
If you or a loved one live with memory problems, having the right support in place can make a big difference. In addition to memory aids and strategies, having the support of private carers at home can be really helpful - whether it’s just someone to pop in occasionally to do the shopping and take you to important appointments or the comfort of full-time, live-in care. Here at Bluebird Care Sevenoaks, we can provide you with as much, or as little, care as you need.
To find out more about how our care at home could help you to continue living independently, get in touch!