Most caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease know clearly that the disease will first impact a person’s short-term memory.
Something important for the caregiver to remember is that persons with Alzheimer’s disease generally also know they are losing their memory. If possible, early in the disease process, identify those things that are really important. Then utilize the following tips to help a person realize what she wants out of life.
Keeping dignity in your relationship includes being able to distinguish and accept what an individual wants and what she truly needs to feel whole. Activities that are habitual will still be possible and can help the person with dementia feel productive.
Set up memory clues:
- Make lists, use pictures, outline simple steps, keep routines consistent
- The loss of short-term memory will mean the person needs prompting and cues to know what to do.
- Keep duplicate house and care keys. Find an obvious place to hang them sot htat they will be easy to find in the event the person with Alzheimer’s disease forgets where the keys were put. At the same time, you must reevaluate whether driving should be permitted.
- Mark where items are stored in the kitchen and bathroom. Place labels on drawers, cupboards, and the dressers. Use calendars, pill boxes, and other memory aids.
- Frame questions and instructions in a positive way. Know that the person is usually aware of a loss of skills and can become frustrated with his increasing dependence on others.