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Memory Loss? 5 Tips for Getting Organized

Learning to live with memory loss can be difficult. Many people live with memory loss from traumatic brain injury or age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Usually, a medical doctor needs to evaluate memory loss and other cognitive issues.  With the right support and these tricks, people with memory loss can continue to lead a fulfilling life.

1. Set Up a Daily Routine for Memory Loss

Living with memory loss or cognitive issues can feel challenging, but there are ways to minimize frustrations and adapt to changes. Establishing a consistent daily schedule can provide a sense of stability and predictability.

Most assisted living facilities will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day. Sometimes, care workers will come to wake people and help them get started with their daily activities, such as grooming and dressing. Most senior living homes will also have scheduled activities to choose from. Learn more about what parts of the day are built into a schedule if you’re getting ready to transition to assisted living.

2. Label Items

One of the easiest things to get confused about, even without memory loss, is where items are located in a home. Labeling and Post-it notes can be a lifesaver for people with memory loss. Label where to find commonly used items in your home. For example, write a post-it note on the outside kitchen cabinets labeling where the bowls and plates go. Label the silverware drawer and the medicine cabinet.  This helps with memory and recognition, especially for people with anxiety about memory loss.

3. Use Memory Aids

Keep a notebook or a small whiteboard to jot down important information, such as appointments, to-do lists, or phone numbers. Make sure all appointments are written down. If you live in assisted living, they will keep a copy of your appointment and likely will help you get to them. Consider doing a memory board project with your loved ones. Memory boards are visual aids with important information, like a daily schedule, appointments, and emergency contact numbers. These can be placed in a prominent location in the home for easy reference.

4. Simplify Your Environment for Memory Loss

If you still live at home, it’s time to downsize your belongings. Reduce clutter in your living space so that you can easily find things you need. Consider buying a device that connects your remote controls to the coffee table or couch so you don’t lose them. You can make it easier to find and identify items in a space with fewer knick-knacks. Use contrasting colors to make essential objects stand out. Choose bright colors for cell phone cases so they don’t get misplaced. Throw away junk mail immediately and label a bright folder for your bills.

5. Use Visual Cues

Place visual cues around your home to prompt you to perform specific tasks, like a toothbrush by the sink or keys by the door.  “A place for everything, everything in its place” is ideal. Make sure your toothbrush and hairbrush are kept next to the sink. Always hang your keys on the key rack or leave them in a tray on your entry table. Put out the supplies for breakfast, such as instant coffee or oatmeal, before bed so things are easier the next day. Put outfits together ahead of time. If any of these tasks seem overwhelming, get help from a caretaker or family member. They’ll probably have some nifty ideas to help you stay organized daily.

Working with healthcare professionals, support groups, and caregivers is essential to tailor these strategies to your specific needs and abilities. Memory loss can be challenging, but with the right support and these tricks, you can continue to lead a fulfilling life. Some people find it easier to manage life tasks in an assisted living environment, where there is medication management, and they can keep you on schedule.

About Present Moments Senior Living

We’re here to help you or your loved one live life to the fullest! We also offer stress-reducing services, such as transportation to appointments, daily healthy meals, and medication management. Life should be easier in retirement. Get in touch to learn about what services and amenities we offer, including our memory care services.

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Mark Gladden
Driven by a desire to enable seniors to age gracefully in a place they can call home, Mark founded Present Moments Senior Living. From programming activities to hiring capable staff to overseeing day-to-day operations, Mark strives to make Present Moments a nurturing environment where residents can live meaningfully.