Are you struggling with watching your aging parent or another loved one deal with memory loss? It can be difficult. You may have looked up to your loved one and spent your life watching him or her succeed in a career and be present for the family. Memory loss can make these achievements seem like a quickly fading reality. There may be ways, however, to ease the transition into this next phase of life. Let us take a look at three tips on helping a loved one deal with memory loss.
1. Let Little Things Go. While it can be frustrating, it can also be easier in the long run to let the little things go when it comes to dealing with memory loss. Your loved one may be able to recall major events or memories but have greater difficulty at the outset of this transition with day-to-day mundane details, like what he or she should be buying when at the grocery store or where to find the phone number for a doctor. Rather than get flustered, it may be best to adjust to the new reality by encouraging your loved one to write things down in a notebook or a pad on the refrigerator that you can check to make sure he or she has what is needed.
2. Modify Your Expectations. In line with letting things go, it may also be time to modify your expectations of what your loved one can reasonably be expected to recall. Even if your loved one previously had a pretty good memory, coming to terms with the fact that memory loss may be likely to get worse over time can help you adapt. If you do not expect your parent to remember what sports or activities each grandchild enjoys, it may be easier to explain it to him or her each time they ask.
3. Assist with Estate Planning. The best time to help your loved one start the estate planning process, or modify any existing estate plan, may be before memory loss becomes so severe that your loved one is unable to participate fully in the process. By encouraging your loved one to go through estate planning early on, you will help make sure that your loved one’s wishes may be fully understood by you and other members of the family, with ample time to sort things through.
For assistance putting an estate plan in place along with other related legal matters, our office is here to help. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.