• Charna Kinneberg

Stuck on the same question!!!!

This week has been like many weeks. I've visited a number of potential clients and their families. Many of my clients are simply overwhelmed by the idea of moving. However, a fair number of them have short term memory issues. Actually - they don't have an issue. Everyone around them does. It is frustrating from both sides of this equation. Imagine right now, as you are reading this, someone comes up to you, talks to you and tries to convince you your memory is an issue. Really! It must be like that for the person suffering from short term memory impairment. They don't know what they don't know. Someone else must be out of their minds because for the person with short term memory impairment, they don't seem to have a clue there is anything wrong!


Meanwhile, if you were in the position I've been in several times this week, it's quite trying to answer the same question 3 times in five minutes or listen to the same story a dozen times in a 30 minute period of time.


What is even worse is when the family member tries to reason with the person who is memory impaired. Often it seems if they just present enough logic or remind them often enough that the story they've relayed was relayed a minute earlier, they will come to their senses. How I wish it was that easy. It is not.


Moves compound the issue. Everything changes. Moves are stressful - one of the top stressors in life. When there is cognitive impairment, it's worse.


There are things that can make it easier. Often having the person in transition stay away the night between the pack and move is helpful. Sometimes just having someone stay in the home with them to make certain they don't unpack all the packing is needed. We find leaving the home pretty much intact until the move is helpful.


Most of all, I encourage the family and loved ones to learn as much as they can about dementia. Find out what form of dementia your loved one has. There are different types. Learn about coping mechanisms to help everyone enjoy the moment, the day. It's the here and now that counts. Use the time while you can to learn about the past. Often times, it's what the person still has. Listen to music. It's govern by a different part of the brain. There are support groups. There is information on the internet. Learn what you can, take care of yourself and enjoy the day.


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