Coping hints for parent with short term memory loss

Greetings.  My mother, living in Indepentent Living community, suffers from short term memory loss.  She's ok with ADLs in her apartment, but has trouble remembering day of week, or when a friend is coming over, where the dining hall is, etc.  Two suggestions I've heard: 1) get rid of the digital clock on her counter and get a big clock with old fashioned face. And 2) use a big daily calendar instead of monthly calendar.

Anybody have any other ideas ???


AARP Expert

@AllenP462534 My Dad had Alzheimers. When he was in the earlier stages, he kept a pocket calendar in his pocket at all times. He wrote down everything in that calendar. As that got to be harder for him, and he and Mom lived in a senior community, I got a large write & wipe board. Every evening I would write the next day's date, day of the week and a schedule. For example:


9am Wake up

9:30am Take medicines

10am Breakfast here at home

11am Physical therapy for Patricia here at home

12pm Lunch in the big dining room

2pm Take medicines

3pm Take dog for walk

4pm Amy picks up Robert and Patricia and Mr. Jackson (dog) to go for Patricia's hair appt.

5pm Dinner with Amy

6pm Watch the news on channel 4 on TV

etc. etc . etc. 


It really helped him get through that phase! Later they moved in with me and my parents were never alone so it didn't matter as much. He could just ask, "what am I supposed to be doing now?" and we would tell him. 


Sometimes he would ask over and over and over again! I miss that so much now that he's gone...


Hope this approach might help! Keep us posted! 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones



 So sorry to hear that, my mother has the same issues but is in assisted-living. So that takes all that problem away because they come get her for dinner and activities. 


I've learned that an Occupational Therapist specialized in Geriatric patients would be of benefit.  I've since reached out.


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