Navigating Early Memory Trouble: Coping Strategies for Alzheimer's
As the population ages, conditions like Alzheimer's and dementia are becoming increasingly common, affecting not only the individuals suffering from these conditions but also their loved ones. It's critical to recognize the early signs of memory trouble and understand how to navigate these challenging situations.
In the early stages of Alzheimer's and dementia, individuals often exhibit forgetfulness. This could manifest as misplacing items frequently, forgetting names or dates, or having difficulty following conversations. During this period, it's important to maintain open communication with your loved ones, discussing the changes you've noticed and brainstorming possible solutions. One such strategy could involve implementing visual aids like calendars and reminders around the house to assist with memory recall.
As these conditions progress, the need for professional assistance like Comfort Keepers may arise. At this stage, ensuring the individual is eating properly and attending necessary appointments becomes critical. The role of Comfort Keepers is not only to assist with these tasks but also to provide companionship and mental stimulation through games and activities. These activities help to keep the brain active, which is crucial in managing Alzheimer's and Dementia.
Consistency is key in managing these conditions. A regular routine can help enhance memory recall and provide a sense of stability and comfort for those affected. A daily routine might include set meal times, designated periods for activities or games, and regular exercise. It's important to adapt the routine as necessary to cater to the individual's abilities and needs.
While dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia, it's also vital to emphasize the importance of a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques can all contribute to overall brain health and potentially slow the progression of these conditions. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not just crucial in old age, but should be a focus throughout one's life.
Lastly, it's crucial to approach these situations with empathy and understanding. It can be difficult for individuals to accept that they're experiencing memory problems, often leading to denial. Therefore, approaching conversations about memory issues gently and sensitively can help ease their concerns and open up dialogue.
Dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia can be challenging, but understanding the early signs and having effective coping strategies in place can make the journey a little less daunting. Stay informed, stay prepared, and remember that help is always available.
Podcast Episode 5 (Navigating Early Memory Trouble) Transcript
Speaker 1 Announcement 00:05
Welcome to the Comfort Keepers Evansville podcast, where we elevate the human spirit. Here's your host, Kristi Gurule.
Jeremy Co-host 00:15
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Comfort Keepers Evansville podcast. I'm your host, Jeremy Wolf, and I'm joined by, of course, your host, Kristi Gurule. Kristi, I say this every time always a pleasure to see you, but it truly is always a pleasure to see you. How you been.
Kristi Host 00:33
Good Kristi, happy Monday, happy fall. Right, since last we've spoke, we're now officially into fall, which is exciting.
Jeremy Co-host 00:43
Yeah, holiday time, let's get excited about that. It'll be fun, fun, fun with the family. So, I know we've been talking a lot about the kind of signs to look for in your loved ones. There could be something going on. And the last episode we talked about the various stages of Alzheimer's and dementia and you kind of gave a broad overview, and went through a lot of it. What I thought we would do is kind of hone in a little bit and talk a little bit more in-depth about these specific stages so that people know not only what to look for but also what to do when they encounter something that could be an issue. So why don't you share with the listeners a little bit about the early stages, right Like before you even come into the picture, notice something going on with mom or dad, whatever it is. What are some things that you can do early on to combat this from moving forward?
Kristi Host 01:39
Yeah, so a lot of times when you start to notice that your loved one mom or dad is becoming a little bit more forgetful, sometimes it's just great to have a conversation with them, just a realistic conversation. How can we help you remember to implement some new things in the home? So, when I'm called and asked for advice at this stage, this is what we talk about. So, we have like a big calendar maybe it's on the refrigerator we have a big wall calendar, different reminders for them so they don't get frustrated if they start to forget details. After that, it's usually when we start to become involved with ourselves coming into the home. That's when we're coming in to make sure that parents are eating, that they're eating properly, that they are in fact getting it to their appointments and not getting lost on the way.
That can become a really frustrating and scary thing for families to have to worry about their loved one getting to appointments. So, when it becomes, when it gets to that stage two to three, usually if we were going to classify somebody that's when Comfort Keepers is called in to help. But I do need to say that everybody progresses differently, right? So, there are those that I come in much later in the picture and others, that I'm there in the very beginning and if I am there closer to the beginning then I like to implement games. I like to do memory games, things to keep the brain elastic. You know we're hands-on, tactile connect for little things that we can do during our shifts with clients so that we can make sure that they're mentally engaged.
Jeremy Co-host 03:26
Yeah, I think this also speaks to at least with me, where I'm at with my life. I notice more and more that the less I do in terms of being consistent, exercising, and eating healthy, the more I steer from that path, the more of that brain fog and confusion I tend to get throughout my days. And then when I really hone in and I say you know what, I'm going to wake up at 6 am every day, I'm going to run in the morning, I'm going to exercise, I'm going to do these things, I'm going to exercise more clearly, and I think a lot of the issues that elderly not always, but a lot of the issues that people encounter in old age are just a result of them not having the right preventative methods in place. So, it speaks to taking care of yourself, not just when you're 75 and have a problem, but throughout your whole life. Right, yeah, with proper diet habits and everything right.
Kristi Host 04:17
Yeah, it all starts foundationally and I think that once something is implemented, it needs to be very routine, because that's something that also helps with memory. We're going to remember that we're coming in a couple of days a week and, even if we aren't there but family is doing something, that they stick to a routine to also help again, just that foundation, re-encouraging and strengthening.
Jeremy Co-host 04:46
Yeah, for sure, 100%. So, anything else you'd like to share about kind of these early stages signs to look for things like that, anything you'd like to share before you wrap up?
Kristi Host 05:01
Well, I think that the last thing that I'd say is to just self-reflect right? We don't like to say when we're having a problem with anything, right? That tends to be the case when you address something that you're seeing and they really don't want to cause any additional stress on you. So, when there's denial, it's just be gentle, just be really soft in the conversation. I have a lot of family members who want to talk to me about how you talk to them because they deny that they have the problem that I'm seeing that they're forgetting things. Just gentle reminders. How can you be more involved in their day-to-day without becoming the parent yourself of your parent? And it all starts with just really soft conversations.
Jeremy Co-host 05:48
All right, awesome. So, we'll wrap it up there and I think we can get into some of these other stages and a little bit more depth moving forward. So, we shall do that. Kristi, always a pleasure. I'll see you very soon. Thank you All right, bye.
Speaker 1 Announcement 06:07
Thank you for listening to the Comfort Keepers Evansville podcast. For more information, visit ComfortKeeperscom.com or call (812) 370-4956.