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The gradual loss of one’s memory is a frustrating experience. In addition, forgetting can also create an unsafe situation for the one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Finding ways to support a family member or loved one to prompt memories can not only help that person feel better about him or herself, it can also keep that person safe. Below are five ways to help prompt memories.

  1. Place pictures of family members and people that the senior may see of a regular basis in central places in the home. Add a label with the name of each person.
  2. When you go out into a public place, think about wearing the same color shirt. This way, if he or she gets disoriented, it will be easier to identify who they are with. This simple strategy can help to reduce stress levels, which is essential to help prevent incidences of memory loss.
  3. Encourage the use of post-it notes for aiding in memory. Post-its can tell the senior which medication has already been taken that day, or any other essential thing that needs to be remembered.
  4. Developing and sticking with a daily routine is essential for helping to keep memory up and running. Changes to the schedule can create stress and confusion, which will be counter-productive in terms of memory retention.
  5. Offer to help whenever you notice the senior is having difficulties with a task, and encourage the senior to ask for help anytime he or she feels confused or out of his or her depth. Knowing that someone is there to help in a supportive and friendly manner helps the senior to feel secure. 

A key theme of supporting someone dealing with memory loss is alleviating or avoiding stressful situations. Stress and anxiety are counterproductive for memory retention, and anything you can do to help ease a potentially stressful situation will support prompting memories.