It may start with a parent forgetting food on the stove, until it sets the smoke alarm off. Perhaps, there are more benign signs, such as asking the same questions over and over. Either way, realizing a parent, or other loved one, may be dealing with memory loss can be a devastating time. How can you help a loved one deal with memory loss? Let us review some tips.
Safety should be a priority and should be addressed in a manner which helps your loved one maintain dignity. Consider daily dose medication containers, to prevent under or overtaking of medications. Set your loved one up with a smartphone and calendar you can access to help assure your loved one receives reminders for appointments or simply to keep oriented. Help your loved one develop a habit of setting a timer anytime something is put on the stove or in the oven. Rather than making it about memory loss, consider sharing that this is a technique you use at home, because you often get busy.
Beyond the day to day support, it may be important to consider the long-term ramifications of memory loss. While you can still have cognizant conversations, inquire about your loved one’s wishes for end of life care, such as assisted living or a nursing home. An elder law attorney can assist with planning for the expense of long-term care. It may also be prudent to have your loved one discuss having a will or trust drafted or updated, as any new estate planning documents or changes to current estate planning documents, made after the loss of mental capacity, may be deemed invalid.
Please remember to be kind to yourself. On its face, early memory loss may feel like another responsibility you must assume. It can also serve, however, as an intense reminder of the impermanence of life and the fact that your beloved parent or family member is slipping away. In the moments of stress, remember to pause for a breath and reach out to other family members to share responsibilities, as well as, to share feelings of sadness. Opening up to one another can be incredibly healing.
Our office is available to provide trusted legal support to you or a loved one who is struggling with memory loss. Please reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.