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There is Help for Early Stage Memory Loss

Posted by on 11/5/2015
Early stage dementia affects a person's memory, organization and planning abilities, and safety awareness. It can make daily life difficult and upsetting. But the use of memory and organizations strategies can help.

The HBMR program in Scotland uses occupational therapists to work with people with early stage dementia, teaching them things like use of a memory book, having a way to make lists (notebook or on a mobile device), and timers. Over the years, in my practice as an occupational therapist, I would work with clients in sessions, individualizing the memory strategies needed to meet their particular needs. Some of the common strategies implemented to aid both aid memory and promote safety included:

  • A list of important phone numbers , including "Emergency - Dial 911", hung by the telephone.
  • Use of a medication reminder system, depending on the needs of the person. It may involve reminder alarms or notes and/or medication boxes.
  • Calendar - usually the simpler the better and with room to legibly write in it.
  • Consistent places to put items, such as car keys on a hook and the tv remote into a basket on the coffee table.
The use of strategies to aid memory can depend on the level of insight the person has into their deficits and their willingness to use them. But for many people, strategies such as these can help them to stay more independent and feeling more confident.

Receive more dementia care education and tips from MindStart owner and occupational therapist, Monica.

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