Tips to Help with Forgetfulness
Many people find it tougher to remember details or learn a new skill as they age. While it may invoke the fear that something more serious is going on (like dementia), it is often just a natural part of aging.
If your loved one occasionally forgets someone’s name or can’t quite remember where she placed her keys, it isn’t cause for alarm. Serious age-related forgetfulness and the diseases surrounding it make it hard to do everyday tasks safely, such as driving, cooking, and even finding the way home.
If your loved one is simply struggling with forgetfulness and feeling frustrated by it, here are some tips to help her when her memory fails her.
Follow a Daily Routine
As much as possible, doing the same things at the same time each day helps to make sure they’re not forgotten. If your loved one needs to take medications each day, she should strive to take them at the same time each day, such as right after she brushes her teeth in the morning. That way they become ingrained into her habits. If she forgets when her in-home care provider is coming, make visits consistent so she is ready.
Put Items in Their Place
It can be frustrating looking for the house keys for 30 minutes, because she forgot where she set them yesterday. Help your parent find places for all her important items. Then, she always places them there and finds them later. A simple hook by the front door to hang her keys is a great place to keep those keys. A basket in the living room for the remote and other items can help her find what she needs.
Make a List or Keep a Calendar
Writing it down can help the brain remember important tasks or lists. Your loved one should make a list of groceries before going to the market with her in-home care provider. A calendar can help your loved one remember important dates, like birthdays and appointments.
Ask for Reminders
It doesn’t hurt to ask someone to remind you of something important. Your loved one’s in-home care provider can be that point person. They can ask her if she took her meds that day, or if she brought the garbage to the curb.
It’s important not to shame or scold your loved one when she forgets something. Helping her with memory aids is a great way to help her feel independent and in control.