TIPS FOR MEMORY LOSS

Distributed by University of Florida Memory Disorder Clinic

Persons with memory loss should try to work within the range of their ability. Sometimes the memory loss is limited to problems with short-term memory. Sometimes there are changes in ability to think, express oneself in words or perform tasks. As time passes people change in skills using their hands, in ability to understand speech and to express themselves, in behavior, in interests and in drive. Personality may become more outgoing and spontaneous (sometimes inappropriate) or more shy and withdrawn. The abilities may be better during the morning and less skilled at the end of the day. Helps include: planning ahead, allowing enough time for tasks or appointments, making the setting easy for daily functions, being pleasant and patient in providing care, and keeping activities and the setting safe.

Caregivers need regular respite!

TIPS – Beginning to Mild Memory Loss

  1. Use reminder notes, a calendar.
  2. Work at paying attention.
  3. Repeat it a few times.
  4. Do one thing (and one step) at a time.
  5. Stay on a routine
  6. Keep handy directions to different places and back home again.
  7. Keep reminder notes together, in one place.

Tips – Medium to Severe Memory Loss

  1. Keep activities simple. Schedule rest times.
  2. Discuss real things, not ideas.
  3. Encourage, not push.
  4. Repeat.
  5. Allow enough time; do it slowly.

 

CAREGIVERS OF PEOPLE WITH MEMORY LOSS - REMEMBER TO:

  1. Call the person by name. Use eye to eye contact, a smile and stay relaxed.
  2. Show and tell the person the time, the date, the next activity.
  3. Hang a large calendar. Keep the daily schedule handy and follow it. Mark off yesterday, finished activities and past appointments.
  4. Post a sign or picture to note special activities.
  5. When talking, mix words with pictures and body actions.
  6. Keep person up to date. Discuss:
    * special events
    * community & world news
    * recipes
    * t.v. and radio shows
    * family activities
    * sports
  7. Encourage the use of simple, fun games, like cards and checkers.
  8. Label/name tag people, photos, rooms, cabinets, furniture.
  9. Use extra light; a constant night light.

 Doty, L. (2006) Memory Disorder Clinic, University of FL (352) 273-5550. Co-funded :Dept of Elder Affairs ADI (Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative).

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College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida