Memory Care Guide

What to Expect as a Carer

It is important to be aware that memory loss alone does not account for the behaviours described below. These behavioural and psychological symptoms depend on the type of dementia and where someone is on their individual journey.

 

SENSORY DIFFERENCES

The various causes of memory loss can also exacerbate hearing and vision impairment. Simple changes can help your loved one to live more independently. For example, use brightly coloured tableware that contrasts with the tablecloth, or bath towels that stand out against the walls.

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

Those with memory loss are highly sensitive to our body language, and their own communication may not always take the form of words. Pay attention to non-verbal cues, so you can determine the underlying emotion and your best response. For example, a tense jaw, rapid breathing and/or pacing may indicate anger. Try to maintain a non-threatening posture as well as a non-threatening and calm tone of voice.

LACK OF INHIBITION

Memory loss often dulls previously held social restraints and sensitivity. While it’s okay to find certain behaviours embarrassing or hurtful, remember that your loved one’s reality - and interpretation of social situations - may be different from yours. These inevitable social stumbles aren’t your fault. Responding gently and calmly helps to develop your empathy as a carer.

NEED FOR ASSISTANCE

Your loved one may be embarrassed about needing help with daily living activities such as eating, so try your best to preserve their dignity whilst still helping. For example, adapt favourite foods by cutting them into strips or creating wraps or sandwiches - this turns them into more easily managed “finger foods”.

10 Early Signs of Dementia

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between age-related changes in a loved one and the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other forms of memory loss.

This list of signs to look for was originally created by Alzheimer’s Society.

You may notice one or more of these signs in different degrees. This is not a diagnosis and this guide shouldn't be viewed as medical guidance

If you notice any of these signs, please raise them with your own, or your loved one’s, doctor or another professional.

  1. Struggling to remember recent events, but easily recalling things from the past
  2. Finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV
  3. Forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects
  4. Repeating oneself
  5. Losing the thread of what you were saying
  6. Problems with thinking and reasoning
  7. Feeling anxious, depressed or angry about forgetfulness
  8. Other people starting to comment on your loved one’s forgetfulness
  9. Confusion, even in a familiar environment
  10. A decline in the ability to read, talk and write.