Watching somebody you love struggle with memory issues is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking experiences you could ever go through, which is why you might find yourself wanting to help them in any way you can.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can help to lessen the difficulties that they are experiencing with their memory and make life just a little bit easier for them.
To that end, this article aims to highlight some of the best ways in which you can help support and care for a relative who is struggling with memory issues so that they can lead the best life they can.
1. Research Their Medical Issues
It’s probably not what you’re going to want to hear, but your first job—if you truly want to help your relative—is to make sure that you genuinely understand what they are going through. Memory issues are complicated and if you charge in and try to help blindly, you could end up making everything far more difficult for them, rather than helping to make their life easier.
There are plenty of resources, both online and offline, that could help you to build up an understanding of the issues your relative is living with, so if you want to help them, take some time to visit the library and hit the books. Build up your understanding so that you can direct your efforts usefully. That is the best way you can prepare yourself to help them.
2. Learn Best Practices to Support Them
Speaking of the best way to help them, that is one of the most important points that you should focus on while you are researching your relative’s issues.
In many cases, there are very specific approaches that you can—and should—take with your relative to help alleviate their issues and strengthen their mind through their memory issues. Do what you can to learn about the specific issues that your relative is living with and how you can help them to most effectively manage and mitigate their symptoms.
3. Engage with Professionals and Get Advice
Now that you know what your loved one is dealing with, you will probably be in a far better position than they are to evaluate how well they are doing with their issues and whether or not they are in need of more skilled assistance than you are able to provide.
You might find that their issues are severe and that they could be better served by skilled professionals who provide a higher quality of service. For example, Austin TX memory care facilities provide a high level of care for troubles with memory. A professional service like this would have the skill and experience needed to provide a level of care to your relative that you simply could not match.
4. Build a Toolkit to Help
On the other hand, if you believe yourself capable of providing adequate care to your relative, then you should consider the tools that would make your efforts in providing this care both easier and more effective. After all, there is no point in struggling against a problem head-on when there might be easier ways to resolve such issues.
From effective communication to medication tracking devices, there are plenty of tools that you can and should utilize in order to improve the level of care you can give to your loved one.
A good way to get started in building yourself a toolkit for this would be to speak with your relative’s doctor and get details about which tools they think would best enable you to provide quality care.
5. Make Their Happiness Your Priority
While caring for your relative it is important to remember that the most important way in which you can help is to ensure that they are happy. Memory issues can be awful, depressing problems to deal with, which means that anything you can do to bring happiness and joy to their life will be like a light in the darkness.
Yes, it is absolutely vital that you do what you can to mitigate the severity of their issue and facilitate their improvement. However, it is even more important that you make them happy and create memories with them that you can cherish, so try to remember to prioritize their happiness however you can.
6. Spend Quality Time with Them
When you are spending so much time trying to help and support your relative, it might feel like you are together often. However, the chances are you are rarely spending actual quality time with your relative, but rather you are often around them trying to fix issues or improve their health.
This is all very important, but the lack of quality time spent in each other’s company has the potential to end up leaving your relative feeling more alone than ever. Therefore, make sure you are truly spending time with them. You could try the following:
- Take a board game over
- Go to a coffee shop for a chat
- Watch a movie together
- Just drop in to say “hi”
You might be surprised just how much of an impact this kind of quality time can have on their mood.
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7. Work to Improve Their Health
With all of the focus you are likely putting on their issues with their memory, it is entirely possible that you have forgotten the importance of your relative’s general health as well.
After all, bodies are interconnected in more complicated ways than even the most knowledgeable doctors know—with almost every element of your health linking back to each other in some way or another.
So, if you and your relative have lost focus on maintaining their general health, then you should make sure to pull yourself back and do what you can to support the most basic elements of their wellbeing as well. A good diet, regular exercise, and a solid sleep schedule can help to make most people feel much better, and that kind of quality-of-life improvement is important.
What’s more, this won’t just help to make your relative feel much happier and healthier, it may even help their body become better equipped to manage their other medical issues—after all, wellbeing is a strange concept.