Managing Forgetfulness in the Elderly

Since 2001, Dr. Alexander Salerno has led Salerno Medical Associates in East Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Alexander Salerno focuses largely on urban communities and on delivering patient education about both medical and behavioral health issues, including alcohol addiction.

Forgetfulness is often a common symptom of aging. If you live or work in a different part of town, then it also becomes difficult to manage elderly parents suffering from forgetfulness. You may feel really overstressed while caring for your family and parents. The first time you notice that your parent is becoming forgetful, you might become frightened. Have you ever had an elderly member in your family who has become confused or disoriented? Memory loss or forgetfulness are often the initial signs of dementia.

 

If the elderly family members’ forgetfulness puts them at risk, then you have to be quite cautious. Even though you may be busy in your own personal and professional life, you still have to be aware and on the alert about their changes and symptoms. If you can’t take care of them due to lack of time or other reasons, you need to appoint a nurse or a caretaker who can take care of their problems.

 

Flexibility and patience

If needed, give them repeated reminders so that they do not face problems in doing their daily chores. Also, make sure that you do not shout at them in your annoyance. This will make them all the more forgetful and irritated. At this stage, they might feel neglected or as though they are a burden on you. This is highly detrimental to their memory loss.

 

So, when you leave for the day’s work, make sure you leave a written reminder by the door. This will remind them to take their keys when they go out. You can also fit a special device which would cut off the gas supply if they forget to turn it off. Help them continue doing their daily routine jobs and let them remain independent. This will always be better for their healthy living and overall well-being. Also, try to be as patient and flexible as possible. Do not make them feel stressed out or pressured.

 

Other measures to cope with forgetful elderly loved ones

  • Make sure you give them ample emotional support along with practical help.

 

  • Also, make sure there are not a lot of distractions and help them concentrate on doing one thing at a time.

 

  • Make sure you provide verbal cues to them instead of asking questions.

 

  • Help them to get adequate sleep and also ensure they have sufficient meaningful activities to do so that their brain gets enough exercise.

 

Memory aids

To manage them better, you can even put in place a regular routine so that they feel all the more secure. These tactful reminders will remind them what will happen next and they will not feel lost. Also, you can seek the help of memory aids like clocks and calendars, diaries, lists, etc. These will have written instructions to help jog their memory.

 

The problems of forgetfulness in the elderly are extremely dangerous and need proper care and attention. So, at this stage, elderly parents or other elderly members of the family need acute care. Therefore, you have to take precautions so that they can still live a safe and happy life.

 


Since 2001, Dr. Alexander G. Salerno has led Salerno Medical Associates in East Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Alexander Salerno focuses largely on urban communities and on delivering patient education about both medical and behavioral health issues.