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helpful info

I recently picked up a leaflet from the local dementia services. It goes through what dementia is, the symptoms, how you may feel about these symptoms. Then it has a helpful section on how to cope with memory problems:

  • Keep a diary, check the diary every morning and several times a day
  • Carry a notebook and write things down that come to mind
  • Write to do lists on a wipe clean board
  • Follow a structured routine for every day tasks
  • Invest in a clock with shows day and date
  • Find a place to put important things
  • Place a list of useful numbers by the telephone
  • Keep a notepad and pen by the phone to take messages
  • Ask for a nomad tray
  • Try to use the same route whenever you go somewhere
  • Always carry the number of a next of kin
  • Avoid tv or radio when you are trying take in information
  • Use an alarm clock to remind you when to do things
  • Keep your brain active by doing crosswords, jigsaw, Sudoku, cards and reading
  • Put things in the same place and concentrate for a few seconds on where you have placed it
  • Stick labels on doors telling you what items are in there
  • Wear glasses and keys round your neck or on a belt loop
  • Write down direction in a notebook to get to important places, look out for landmarks
  • Repeat someones name several times in a conversation, or ask them to spell it for you
  • Tell people you have memory problems and ask them to recap what they’ve said
  • Describe what you mean if you forget a word
  • Write down conversations using bullet points
  • Relax
  • Break down tasks into manageable chunks
  • Establish a daily routine
  • Accept you need more time or help
  • If feeling cross stop, take time out, do something relaxing, concentrate on successes.

I have to admit though, I’m not sure how much any of these could help, if at all. I mean, nan wears her glasses round her neck, but unless I remind her they are there she will go round the whole house looking for them. And it’s enough to tell someone to relax, but when you have dementia and all these things are going on in your head how easy is it to do?

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