Tools for Dementia: In Honor of Mom

I am thinking about my mother today, as it is her birthday.  She has dementia and has no short-term memory left.   I know she is “in there”- and she at times remembers she has dementia and gets very frustrated at all the things she can no longer do.  It is difficult as a daughter to see her anger and frustration, and know I can’t fix it. However, there are some tools that can help that we have used successfully that I will share today in her honor. 

Whiteboard with list of comforting words on it for person with dementia

Initially, when she first started showing signs of dementia, she was still living alone and using a computer for emails, and banking.  We moved her over to a Chromebook, to prevent the possibility of fraud.  This was a good move, as she let us know she had been called by Microsoft about a computer error and allowed them to try and access her computer, which, of course, did not work as it was a Chromebook.  She could not understand why they were cursing at her as they hung up until we explained what had happened. 

Now that her dementia has progressed, she is living in a memory care facility.  She struggles to understand what is paid for, and worries about not having money.  I created a list for her and posted it in her room of all the things that are paid for already- laundry, meals, electricity, etc.  This provides her with comfort to know she can eat without worry, and have clean clothes.  As her ability to read decreases, I will add pictures to the list so it becomes a visual list she can access.  I also plan on creating a core word communication board for her soon as her ability to find words continues to decrease, so she can still communicate her wants and needs to those caring for her. 

Dementia is a cruel condition- it is hard to watch her deteriorate.  I am determined to enjoy every moment I can with her, and keep my sense of humor with her.    

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