While caring for your elderly parent with early-stage dementia at home, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to help them remember important people or tasks in their lives. If so, make one or both of the following memory aids you can use to work with your loved one.
Photograph Memory Board
As your parent's memory starts to fade, they may not be able to recall family members, friends, or important events in their life. To help keep faces and locations fresh in their minds, create a photograph memory board featuring pictures you know are most dear to them.
Using a brightly colored poster board, tape pictures in rows. Use two-sided tape so you can easily remove and replace the photograph while showing them to your parent. Allow enough space beneath them to write a description.
Under the pictures of people, write their names, any important dates associated with them, and their relation to your parent. Under pictures depicting important events, write the date, event name, and anyone featured in the picture.
For example, if you have your parents' wedding picture on the board, write their anniversary date, the location, and the names of any family members and friends who were present. When you show the picture to your parent each day, ask them first about the picture. Fill in any information they may have forgotten.
Daily To-Do List Poster
Along with forgetting people and places, your parent may start to forget to perform activities of daily living, such as brushing their teeth, eating, or taking medication. As a reminder, make a daily to-do list poster.
Write any daily task on the poster board, dividing them by the time of day or category. For example, for their morning routine, you could list brushing their teeth, dressing, making the bed if they are able, and taking their medication. If your parent has started to forget to eat, put this on there as well.
Place the poster in a prominent place, such as on the wall next to their bed or on the bathroom door. Every morning, casually mention the poster to remind your parent to review it.
Using the above two memory aids on a daily basis could help your elderly parent retain some of their memories. If you have any questions or would like more suggestions, you may want to speak with a senior home care service like ComForcare - North Wake County for more ideas.