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.
Those living 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.
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.
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 your concerns with a doctor or another professional.