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10 Tips Independence and Dementia

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Updated: December 21, 2005

10 Tips for keeping your independence with dementia

There are a number of simple things you can do that will help you as your memory becomes less reliable. Starting to use memory prompting strategies early on gets you into a pattern of behavior that can maximize your independence as well as your confidence.

Keeping to a Routine aids memory in dementia
Having a routine is one of the best memory prompts. Patterns of behavior become an aid to memory and help a person with dementia feel secure and less anxious too.

Diary and notebook keeping for dementia
Keep a diary or notepad. You can use a daily diary to write down the everyday tasks, household duties and activities that you have arranged or want to do. You can also use them for thoughts and ideas,
Helpers can write in activities or 'must do's' too if you want as well.

Notice Boards memory and dementia
You can pin reminders, a time-tables, ideas, etc on them and it is a good alternative or backup system to a diary. Noticeboards are great visual reminders. Helpers or caregivers can also put reminders of activities or what day it is.

Labels help identify possessions for person with dementia
Put labels on things to remind you where things are or remind you to lock your door and windows at night, or let out the cat!

Address books and phones numbers aid memory
Keep your phone and address book by the phone with important numbers written prominently on one page.

Electronic prompt services for people with dementia
Paging and texting Services. These types of services often used for people with brain injury can be used for reminders and cues of things that need to be done, such as medication. These types of services may not be available within your area.

Alarm services for people with dementia
Personal alarms: These alarm systems fitted into phone systems are fantastic. My Dad uses one of them and they have been a life saver, twice. You have to wear a pendant or wrist band with an alarm button. When you push it an operator, even without talking to the wearer, contacts local 911 services and then contacts 2 nominated individuals to advise them of what has happened. It allows people living alone to have more confidence and increases independence.
Smoke and gas alarms: All homes should have them.

Centralize important objects to aid memory
Get into the habit of always putting keys, money, glasses in the same place

Clocks with date displays
Having clocks with date displays in every room helps you remember, helps you identify time of the day and activities that occur within time frames.

Daily Newspapers aid memory
Newspapers not only keep you in touch with things but act as a reminder for the day of the week.

December 2005

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