Our memories make us who we are. They’re the good moments, the bad ones, and everything in between. They can be our happiest hours and our most important lessons learned. Which is why Alzheimer’s deterioration of memory and other mental functions makes it one of the most profoundly challenging forms of dementia.
Whether in the early stages or later stages, people with Alzheimer’s can struggle to remember recent events, conversations, and people in their lives, but with a few strategies and activities you can help support your loved one regain lost memories.
6 Tips for Helping Alzheimer’s Patients Remember
Tip #1: Develop Regular Schedules and Routines
Whether it’s making coffee and reading the news in the morning or walking the dog and watching a favorite game show in the evening, keeping a routine is one of the best ways for anyone to remember. A routine can help exercise the brain by assigning a regular physical task to each moment.
Programs like Five Star’s Bridge to Rediscovery, design a lifestyle with each memory care resident’s specific needs in mind. Activities and schedules are built around your loved one’s abilities with an emphasis on building and maintaining skills.
Tip #2: Using Sentimental Objects and Media
We all keep photos of loved ones on our desk or put on our favorite song to match our mood. Using objects and media can help a person with Alzheimer’s use their senses like taste, touch, sound, and smell to trigger feelings and memories. Make sure your loved one has plenty of photographs of family members, has easy access to music, or gets to eat their favorite meal. These can all help Alzheimer’s patients remember special moments from their past.
Tip #3: Encourage Physical Activity
Research shows that physical exercise can slow memory decline and impairment to cognitive function. Body movement directly impacts the brain and influences the hippocampus—where memories are stored. Many Five Star communities partner with Ageility to offer residents fitness instruction and physical therapy programs that also establish a schedule.
Tip #4: Organize with Apps, Calendars, and Journals
Smartphone app stores offer a wide range of apps to set reminders, alarms, and save notes. But smartphones aren’t the only option! A sturdy wall calendar or journal are great physical alternatives to keep track of dates and times while exercising handwriting skills.
Tip #5: Be Patient
People with dementia may have difficulty remembering what they’re doing or where they are. This can be frustrating for them and challenging for you, but it’s important to be patient.
If your loved one is trying to remember a name or a place, give them time to explain what they are trying to say. If they are still having difficulty, help them with context or give prompts.
If the person feels under pressure it can make remembering things much more difficult.
Tip #6: Reach out to Family and Friends
There are many ways to help a person with Alzheimer’s remember, but one of the most important is to have support from family and friends. You may already have close family members visiting your loved one, but remember to reach out to friends. You’ll find that most people will be eager to offer support.
As important as those close relationships are, relying only on family and friends can be stressful for everyone. No matter what you and your loved ones are going through, know that you never have to go through it alone. Five Star meets Alzheimer’s with love, compassion, and the highest level of expertise.
Get the Best Memory Care & Alzheimer’s Support at Five Star
Our highly trained memory-care specialists support residents through an exclusive and innovative program called Bridge to Rediscovery. It’s a Montessori-based approach in which your loved one’s environment and activities are all designed around their specific abilities, preferences, and passions.
It’s not always easy to know when it might be time to consider memory care for a loved one. Check out our helpful guide to know the difference between normal signs of aging and signs of something more.
Learn More About Five Star’s Memory Care Communities Today
At Five Star, we know that home is when comfort and community come together. Our memory care specialists enhance our resident’s daily experiences by promoting interaction, reducing agitation, and strengthening cognitive abilities.
We take the time to get to know each and every one of our memory care residents. We learn about their lives, their careers, and their interests. We get to know their loved ones. All so we can create the right environment filled with joy and purpose.
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