It is important that adult children know that memory loss is a sign of old age. By the time a person is in their late seventies, they will have lost approximately 10 percent of their brain cells. This means that a senior's vocabulary may shrink. Their verbal, math and spatial skills may also decline.
If your senior seems to be having acute memory loss, you should take him to the doctor to check for Alzheimer's disease, or mild cognitive impairments.
If you have a senior who has memory loss, how you behave and act toward your senior can have a great impact. These tips are for you to help your senior who is displaying mild memory loss.
- If your senior is always searching for things that he has misplaced, purchase a special box or basket for his essentials. These items can include keys, glasses, wallet, watch, cell phone, etc.
- If your senior has trouble remembering what day of the week it is, place a post-it note on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror each day to remind him what day it is. You can also post extra information on the notes that he may need to be reminded of. For instance, you can write, "This is Monday. Today you need to call Aunt Susan and tell her Happy Birthday."
- To help your senior remember things when he is going out the door, place the needed items nearby. You can place a coat rack by the door. Hang your senior's coat, hat and umbrella on the coat rack.
- If your senior needs to take his medication at a certain time, set a timer to go off at that time. When your senior gets up to turn off the timer he should find a note telling him to take his medicine. You can place the medicine next to the timer in a medicine cup.
- Place a list of important numbers by the telephone. This should include the names and numbers of all of the senior's family members. This list should also include emergency numbers and the number to your senior's doctor's office.
- If your senior has trouble remembering what time he should eat, purchase two clocks for him. Have one unplugged and set to the time when he should eat. Tell him that when the other clock (the one that is plugged in) says the same thing that he should eat. This will help seniors who have trouble remembering to eat. It will also help seniors who have trouble remembering if they have already eaten.
- Do not get offended or take it personally if your senior forgets special events or holidays.