Memory loss can be caused by cognitive decline from aging, early stages of dementia, or traumatic brain injury. Whatever the cause, it can make it difficult to maintain a routine, and everyday tasks like household chores may fall to the wayside. Establishing a sense of normalcy and order is crucial for individuals with memory loss, but they often need the support of friends and family to manage the running of the house. If you have a loved one experiencing memory loss, here are some chores you can do to make their daily lives easier.
1. Meal Prep and Cleanup
Cooking meals involves multiple steps that can be overwhelming for someone with memory loss. In addition, the use of materials like knives and stovetop burners can be potentially hazardous with impaired memory. You can help by planning and cooking balanced meals, ensuring they have access to proper nutrition. After the meal, help clean up and put away dishes to maintain a hygienic kitchen.
Memory loss may cause someone to fall behind on their laundry, leaving them with no clean clothes, bedding, or towels. Assist by sorting clothes, starting and monitoring the washing machine, and folding and putting away clean laundry. Try creating a laundry schedule that can add predictability to the weekly routine.
3. Grocery Shopping
Navigating the aisles of a grocery store can be confusing and disorienting for someone with memory loss. Offer your assistance by accompanying them on shopping trips or creating a detailed shopping list based on their preferences and dietary needs. These days, you can even arrange to have groceries delivered to your door.
Studies show that living amongst clutter can have a negative impact on mental health and possibly worsen memory loss symptoms. A messy, untidy home can also deter visitors from stopping by, which can lead to isolation. Engage in light housekeeping tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, and tidying up. If an initial deep clean is required, focus on one room at a time.
5. Managing Medications
If you’re loved one has multiple prescriptions, remembering to take medications on time can be a significant challenge. Help by organizing their medication in a pill dispenser or setting up a digital reminder system. Regularly check and refill prescriptions, ensuring they never run out. Reliable medication management is crucial for maintaining their health and well-being.
6. Change Car’s Oil
It may not be the first thing you think of, but maintaining a car is vital for independence and mobility. Regular car maintenance, such as changing the engine oil, is essential for the vehicle’s longevity. Take responsibility for scheduling and completing routine maintenance tasks, ensuring the car remains in good working condition.
7. Yard Maintenance
Yardwork is physically demanding and requires some pre-planning depending on the season. To make things even more difficult, it doesn’t take much time for an unattended yard to grow wild and unchecked. To keep the yard well-groomed and attractive, take charge of mowing the lawn, weeding, and general yard upkeep by doing it yourself, recruiting some friends, or hiring a service.