Home Instead / Image by Jesper Anhede
Home Instead / Image by Jesper Anhede

Noticing the signs of memory loss in older adults and what to do next

After visiting Mum, you leave feeling concerned. She had forgotten to take her medication again and a trip to the supermarket left her feeling agitated, as she couldn’t count the correct change for the cashier. Mum loved keeping on top of cleaning at home and now it looks as though nothing has been cleaned for weeks.

You feel as though you’re losing focus at work, thinking often about Mum and hoping she is safe and well. What if the memory loss progresses and what are the next steps to ensure she stays happy and healthy?

At Home Instead, we see families experience situations like this often. Memory loss is common in older adults, with 1 in 11 people over the age of 65 having a type of dementia (NHS 2023). It is important to spot the early signs of memory loss so you can help your loved one as soon as you notice a difference in their behaviour.

These early signs can include:

  • Losing items around the house
  • Forgetting names or finding it difficult to find the right words
  • Forgetting recent conversations or events
  • Becoming lost in somewhere that was once familiar
  • Forgetting appointments and birthdays etc.

How can I help my older loved one?

This can be a challenging time and we recommend that you contact the GP of the person who is experiencing memory loss, so they can be assessed by a healthcare professional.
To help with your own feelings of worry whilst you cannot be there, it may be beneficial to introduce a home care helper so they can call in, ensure your loved one is safe and provide assistance around the home where it is needed. This means that you can spend quality time with your loved one whilst being there, rather than having to keep on top of household chores.
They may also benefit from engaging in local community activities, or activities at home. Keeping mentally stimulated can build self-esteem, provide enjoyment, and could slow down the effects of dementia.

Looking after someone who is experiencing memory loss can feel like a big responsibility but it’s important to remember you do not need to do it alone. Home Instead Brighton, Hove and Shoreham are here to help. We host regular and free Dementia Information Sessions, helping those in the local area to spot the early signs of dementia and we provide guidance on what to do next.

Our upcoming session will take place in March, so please get in touch if you would like to find out more by calling 01273 284090 or email admin.brighton@homeinstead.co.uk. We are always happy to have a chat and share our own advice. We can answer any questions you might have and help you to provide care at home for your loved one.

www.homeinstead.co.uk

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