Memory loss, which is a part of dementia, seriously interferes with the daily life activities of any individual suffering from it, and is distressing not only for the individual but also for all those around him. Though there is no cure available yet for treating or delaying the onset of the disease, there are coping methods which can help individuals suffering from memory loss to retain their independence and confidence for as long as possible.
Memory loss can put individuals at risk which may demand their loved ones to take precautions for their safety. However, individuals who are suffering from memory loss should be encouraged to retain their independence and to do things for themselves as long and as far as is possible. The family and friends of people suffering from memory loss have to be patient and flexible.
Individuals suffering from memory loss should be encouraged to remember things which they can without exerting any pressure. Though memory loss may affect every individual in a different manner, there are certain areas where these individuals may need to be particularly assisted, including:
- Obtaining new information
- Remembering events
- Separation of fiction from fact
- Recognizing places and people
Obtaining New Information
Individuals suffering from memory loss experience particular difficulty in obtaining, absorbing and remembering new information. Others around them can help them by keeping the information as simple as possible apart from repeating it frequently. Individuals who are around these patients will also need to make sure they avoid stating the fact this information has previously been given to them. Using innovative and illustrative methods of reminding the patient generally proves more effective than any other conventional methods.
Another aspect of memory loss is the reverse order of this which entails individuals suffering from memory loss not being able to remember recent events instead of events from the years gone by. This is also the underlying reason people with this disease believe themselves to be living in the past than in the present.
However, with the progress of the disease, the distant memories also decline as well as the recent ones. It is also equally important to note here that since not all memories related to the past are pleasant, these individuals might also experience sadness and get uncomfortable. If this happens, those who are around them in no way should contradict their feelings, rather should try to relate to their feelings and memories.
Separation of Fiction from Fact
The progression of the disease may result in the individuals’ losing the ability to distinguish fiction from fact and might not be able to view their imaginations as being distinct from facts. People around them should avoid correcting them constantly and instead try to keep their focus on their feelings. Feelings of insecurity may set in which could lead to these individuals describing any misplaced item as stolen. In such a situation, their loved ones need to understand their feelings and avoid reacting in front of them, which can cause a feeling of remorse or embarrassment for these individuals.
Recognizing Places and People
Another challenge facing these individuals is the failure to recognize places and people which is attributed to their brains not being able to put information together or remember it. This might also lead to situations like when the individual suffering from memory loss is not be able to recognize his/her own reflection in the mirror or consider a friend or a known one in the house as an intruder. Though this may become a source of distress for other people, it should be dealt with positively.
These are areas where individuals suffering from memory loss might need particular assistance and help. Coping with memory loss may prove to be distressing not only for those who are suffering from it but also for their loved ones. However, as earlier mentioned, their loved ones need to exercise tact, flexibility and patience to deal with them.
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