Cope with Memory Loss

Cope with Memory Loss

How to help an elderly relative cope with memory loss

If you care for an elderly relative, you may notice that they start to forget words or the names of places. For most people, this is just part of the ageing process, and it is nothing more than a frustration. However, sometimes it can be a sign of a more serious condition like Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer’s is not treatable, other things that cause memory loss can often be treated. For example, depression, certain medications and even injuries can sometimes worsen memory loss, and these can often be treated effectively.

How to tell if memory loss is due to something more serious

The problem with memory loss is that it is often difficult to tell whether a more serious problem is affecting memory, or whether it is normal.

Usually, if memory loss is not affecting your elderly relative’s ability to function, it is often not a serious issue. However, if it starts to affect their life on a daily basis, it could be due to something more serious.

For example, you may have cause for concern if they:

  • Experience difficulty remembering how to do things that they have done all their life
  • Cannot remember how to get somewhere familiar like the local shop
  • Have trouble following basic steps or instructions, like in a recipe

Importantly, you should look out for signs that the memory loss is getting worse. While most problems that cause memory loss do not result in a worsening of memory over time, dementia does get worse over the months and years.

What you can do to make it easier

Memory loss – even common memory loss that affects many elderly people – can be very frustrating. If you notice that your elderly relative is becoming frustrated, angry or agitated because they cannot remember things, there are steps you can take to help.

For a start, make sure it is not a big deal. When they forget a word or the name of a place, they may become frustrated, but try to tell them that you forget things as well and that it is perfectly normal.

In addition, don’t make them feel bad if they forget something important. Rather, make sure that you are understanding about it avoid getting angry at your loved one.

You could recommend and help with making lists, using sticky notes around the house, writing the shopping list and encouraging them to keep their keys and glasses in the same place.

You could also assist them in keeping their mind active by taking part in activities. Perhaps you could play card games with them, or encourage them to do the crossword. Helping to take them to social meet-ups and classes where they can enjoy hobbies is a great way to keep the brain active.

Check with the doctor if you are worried

If you are at all worried, plan a trip to the doctor. They can then check medications and other factors to find out whether there is something more serious going on.

It could be down to medications that your relative is taking, including over-the-counter medicines, prescription medications, antidepressants or sleeping pills.

It may be due to stress, especially when it is the result of emotional trauma. If your relative has lost anyone recently, or perhaps a loved pet, this could be a factor.

Memory loss could even be due to lack of sleep. Not getting enough quality sleep is a problem that affects many elderly people, as we have written about before on the importance of sleep for the elderly.

Getting help for dementia

If it turns out that your relative is suffering from dementia, you should seek help as soon as possible. Your doctor will provide you with some useful resources, but you can also look for local organisations and groups that provide support for people with dementia and their carers.

Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging, so make sure you also get the support you need. This can include meeting up with other carers in your area, or hiring Respite Care once or twice a week so that you get at least one regular break.

There are some excellent strategies for coping when you care for someone with dementia, and here are a few tips on memory loss that can be very useful.

Don’t let memory loss become a problem

If there is no particular reason for the loss of memory, don’t let it get in the way of your relative’s quality of life. While it can be frustrating, it is often nothing to worry about, so help them to cope better by using some of the tips outlined, and make sure memory loss does not become an issue for them.

CTA Case Studies

We are here to take your call and will provide impartial support and guidance – contact our friendly care experts today to discuss your nurse-led care needs.


0808 239 1525

Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

Do I need a driving licence?

A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.