In fact, just about everyone depends on some kind of list to help make it through their day, including the staff at Accredited Home Care, who uses lists to keep track of which clients to visit and which services will be provided to them that day.
Because Accredited Home Care offers clients the services of a variety of skilled therapists, getting the right person to the right place at the right time is vital.
But day-to-day scheduling lists are important to remind people what tasks are ahead of them, especially when it’s so easy to forget details.
Many of us are familiar with dementia that can cause people to forget things, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which basically can destroy short-term and long-term memories.
But all seniors are susceptible to forgetfulness or mental lapses, whether or not they’re battling dementias.
Medical experts say that even though many seniors do suffer from lapses in memory, in many cases, it’s nothing to worry about and is fairly normal.
Why we forget
HelpGuide.org, a site that focuses on mental and emotional health, said common memory loss could sometimes be due to general aging of the brain, sometimes due to changing or reduced hormone levels or decreased blood flow.
While everything still functions as it’s supposed to, the mental processes may just take longer, such as recalling information like phone numbers, names or similar data.
Various to-do lists are perfect ways to remind you about this information, everything from what’s on the agenda today to when to take your medication and which to take.
Seeing a visual reminder of what you’re supposed to be doing could jog your memory, since you already knew what you’re supposed to do.
These types of details contrast with some of the memory loss that may come from some dementias. In some advanced cases, the brain may be so physically deteriorated that even sticky notes throughout the house may not be noticed or comprehended.
Basically, they may not remember what they’re supposed to be remembering.
Keep caregivers in the loop
Family members or friends wanting to make sure their loved one or loves ones do what they’re supposed to on any given day can tell them directly, of course, but there’s no guarantee they’ll remember especially if there are multiple tasks to keep track of.
They can also write information in the same spot where someone knows to look, such as a bulletin board or a central table where this kind of information always stays. Even if some details are forgotten, people may remember where to look for the regular reminder.
Family members or loved ones can also create a duplicate list or a separate list for the person’s caregiver. This can tell them the same information, or it can be other useful information that he or she should know before starting their day or their shift.
This list can include:
- Any medications the client is currently taking or the last time they had one. (This could be ongoing medication or something temporary such as antibiotics or something for a short-term condition).
- Any schedule for medications, even if it’s the same as it’s been in the past. The caregiver may appreciate the reminder, and if he or she is unavailable, their replacement will.
- Any health problems that the caregiver should know about. This could be illness like cold or flu, or any physical changes, like problems sleeping or eating.
- Any contact information for emergencies, along with any consent signatures/permission if medical care or transportation is needed.
- Any suggestions of behaviors to watch for or observe, such as eating, drinking or memory changes. Caregivers are in a good position to watch and evaluate things on a day-to-day basis, and often have enough basic medical knowledge they can tell a provider or family member what they see.
- Caregivers also may be asked to document their own daily observations of a client for their employer’s sake and for the client’s family member’s sake. This could be a good way to watch the progression of changes and physical decline or if efforts to focus on memory seem to be working.
There are a variety of ways to help people’s memories at a local or larger level.
The Guardian, a British newspaper, suggests memory can be improved by a combination of dietary changes (lots of omega 3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish) and mental efforts such as learning new skills, facts and routines, can all help the brain’s processing and focus.
July is also an occasion for a less-known holiday: “I Forgot Day.” On July 2, people are encouraged and invited to celebrate any occasion or special event they may have forgotten this year or are expected to forget the rest of the year.
This can include all sorts of forgotten festivities, from birthdays to anniversaries to any other special occasion that people could have missed. Because the holiday is a little vague, expectations can vary. It’s your call whether to bring gifts or how far back you go to re-remember something forgotten.
The team at Accredited Home Care will be happy to discuss memory issues with you.