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Memory Class
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
Originally posted by: Rkg

Lurk, Congratulations on a successful class!

Sorry it wasn't me who posted about sticky notes. Only in the last year has Dh lost his short term memory. Though there were glimpses a long the way. Such as which door is the bathroom door? But I would just guide him to the correct door rather than put a bathroom door sign up! Wink And to me, that is more about reasoning than memory.

I have read where sticky notes help, but have not tried them as we are so far past that now.

Personally, I believe we can only (especially for our LOs) learn coping skills as far as memory issues. I don't think we can fix the problem, just that we can learn to over compensate for memory loss. Hence why sticky notes help. Journaling, is a fabulous way to compensate.

I also believe that we sometimes expect to much of our self's in this crazy busy world. We can't remember everything, so much happens in this world daily (even our lil AD world) that one can't expect to remember it all. We often write something down once and get mad at our self's when we forget what/where/why we wrote something down. Our world is far different than it was 50 years ago. So much more to remember, so much more information being thrown at us. So learning coping skills as to how we can "remember" the important to us stuff! In general people learn/retain information if they experience the information at least 5 times. So of course we can't make 5 Dr's appointments for the same day/time so that we "remember" it. But what we can do is inform our self's 5 times. We certainly don't have to write an appointment down 5 times, but create triggers that remind us at least 5 times (now if we forget despite the 5 reminders, then yes we could have an memory issue. But that memory issue could be because of a million other things being thrown at us). Ways to remind us, might be writing the information we choose to be reminded of down on sticky note, but can be anything from keeping a calender, journaling, saving the flyer/invitation/business card/etc somewhere we see it daily/weekly/monthly. I find placing a memo in my cell phone a huge help.

Leaning coping skills rather than being overwhelmed with my memory not being as sharp as it once was helps to keep my memory on top of it's game..... For each person finding what coping skills work best for them, may be a great class project to explore. Pictures, Key's words, sticky notes, calenders, cell phone memo's with alarms, etc. Its about finding what works for the individual but certainly not making one's self crazy because they didn't remember one of the million things that were thrown at them daily. If we lived in a slower paced society than yes, forgetting things would be an issue. But we don't! We live in a very stimulated world that doesn't just revolve around us, we are bombarded with information overload we can't expect to remember it all.

Just my take on memory! Best of luck with your class! Have fun with it, find "coping" skills. Again, not every thing works for all, but exploring what works to individuals will be a great class project as well as opening up possible new ideas.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
Originally posted by: sf

Lurk your class sounds like a great idea, I think I could benefit. Sometimes I notice that I get up to do something and then forget what I meant to do, or stumble when I try to recall a name or event. I don't worry too much as I'm stretched, as we all are, being not only a sleep deprived caregiver but the chief cook and bottle-washer of everything. You are the memory for you and your loved one. Don't over analyze, but if you're genuinely worried talk to your doctor. Better to deal with this as soon as you can so that you won't worry.
Internal Administrator
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463


Originally posted by: lurk

This morning I went to the "I Have Alzheimers . ." Board to perhaps get some suggestions. But they are discussing things that are deep and personal, and I almost felt like an intruder. My heart goes out to them, and I don't feel that I should be troubling them with my little challenges.

And so I came here where I feel more comfortable and where Iris, Mimi, Ttom, SnowyLynne and others also contribute. But here, we are at present discussing things that are heart-wrenching and sad, and I should not be troubling you either. I hope my thread is not too trite.

For this question, I feel like Eliza Doolittle--I don't belong in either world. I have vascular dementia, but I take care of everything from banking and finances to decision making and taking care of the household. I don't FEEL as though I am impaired.

On the other hand, recently I have been having trouble more often with word-recall AND in the past year I have mixed up some appointments AND there is the ongoing question of where my keys are. I am so desperately hanging on to the hope that it is Caregivers Dementia as JAB suggests. Or even sleep deprivation. At our ages, (the ages of many of us) who knows?

I told you that I had attended a Memory Class at the Senior Center with DH, my dear friend and her husband. I guess I complained to her that it was lame (my bad) so when they cancelled it, she said, "We will have our own class. It will be at my house, and you will be the President."

I learned that she was serious, and we had our first class yesterday (at our MS friend's home as her wheelchair won't go to other homes.) We had 14 attendees, all good and fun friends. The two exercises I did was first to have them come up with the names of all the States of the Union in alphabetical order which I listed on my whiteboard. We then had a discussion on word recall with some sentences with missing words I had written previously on a flip chart.

When I first realized that I was having the word recall problem, I was distressed and perplexed as to WHY it happened. I began an analysis of what was going on in my brain when it happened and how I finally got to the correct word. I used the sentences from my actual experiences.

The class seemed successful, but I am flying by the seat of my pants here and wondered if you might help me by telling my some of your memory problems,and how you resolved them, e.g., the sticky notes all over the place as mentioned by someone (sorry, Someone, I didn't go back and find out who you are). RKG? Also, any things you do to preserve your memory--games, etc.

Please take care of the legitimate issues of people who are hurting, and then, if the spirit moves you, think about this subject. Thanks a bunch.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
Originally posted by: Mimi S.

Hi Lurk,
I'm so glad you posted what you did.
The I have AD thread is for us: you, Ttom, Snowy Lynee, myself and a host of others. I've been making a list and there are quite a lot of us.

And there is absolutely no issue that affects you that cannot be discussed there.

And believe me, word recall is a biggie. To me, one of the big advantages of all knowing I have AD is that when I can't remember something, it's no big deal.

I think your group is a fantastic idea.

Putting the states in alphabetical order would have been beyond me, unless they were written out.

And practice does help.

Another game is the old fashioned 'Memory Game." As is, it would be too difficult for me. But I'd begin with two or three pairs and then slowly work my way up.

Puzzles, although not memory, are also good. Begin with whatever works with ease, even if it's just 25 pieces. Again, work your way up. I like to do puzzles on the computer.

Good for you. And your subject is also legitimate. So do join us on the AD site.

So keep it up and let us know what's going on.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
Originally posted by: lurk

quote:
Originally posted by sf:
Lurk your class sounds like a great idea, I think I could benefit. Sometimes I notice that I get up to do something and then forget what I meant to do, or stumble when I try to recall a name or event. I don't worry too much as I'm stretched, as we all are, being not only a sleep deprived caregiver but the chief cook and bottle-washer of everything. You are the memory for you and your loved one. Don't over analyze, but if you're genuinely worried talk to your doctor. Better to deal with this as soon as you can so that you won't worry.


Thanks for your response. I think everyone over 40 gets up to do something and forgets what he is doing. In talking to my class members I also find that most of them have a real problem with name recall. Isn't that so disconcerting? The first time I couldn't remember John Wayne, I knew I was in trouble, and that was years ago.

I agree about the sleep-deprivation. As I was talking about the class, someone asked what is the big answer to the memory problem. I said, "I don't know; that's what we're trying to find out," and then I immediately added, "sleep deprivation," and someone else said, "stress".

It's comforting to be reminded that I am the memory for me and him. I forget that he used to help me. I'm not "genuinely worried" at the moment, just taking note of the signs. I also haven't been as attentive at driving sometimes and have made a renewed commitment to not think about anythig but driving when I am driving. Thanks for taking the time.
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
Originally posted by: Mind-Start

Here a few compensations I recommend as an occupational therapist:
  • a place for everything and everything in its place. In other words, keep the keys on the same hook or location every time, preferably right by the door.
  • Keep a good calendar to track appointments. You can write it down as you make the apppointment and then read the date/time back to the scheduler to make sure you have it right.
  • Have a routine of how you do things each day and stick to it.
  • Do your more challenging tasks (ex. bill paying) when you are most rested.
  • Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: sf

    Lurk I another thought for consideration. My son is a Marine crew chief on a 53E helicopter. He's told me many times that the military has done many studies to measure the effect of lack of sleep and stress/anxiety on ability to perform. There is a marked decrease in our abilities when we're tired and stressed. I think its well documented although I don't know how much is published. I hope you'll followup with a physician if you're worried, and I also hope you'll see that the stress we're under takes a toll in many ways. Good luck.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: lurk

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Rkg:
    Lurk, Congratulations on a successful class!

    We often write something down once and get mad at our self's when we forget what/where/why we wrote something down.

    Ways to remind us, might be writing the information we choose to be reminded of down on sticky note, but can be anything from keeping a calender, journaling, saving the flyer/invitation/business card/etc somewhere we see it daily/weekly/monthly. I find placing a memo in my cell phone a huge help.

    Leaning coping skills rather than being overwhelmed with my memory not being as sharp as it once was helps to keep my memory on top of it's game..... For each person finding what coping skills work best for them, may be a great class project to explore.

    Just my take on memory! Best of luck with your class!
    QUOTE]

    I should have thanked everyone sooner--so busy. Robin, I think the sticky note poster was talking about making notes to herself not her loved one, and mostly the class is for us healthy, "normal" old folks just trying to get by. We have two or three unhealthy husbands tagging along and one lovely 80-something lady whom I am concerned about. I agree completely that each person has to do what works for him or herself, and there are many different ways to do it.

    I think I use "all of the above" except for the telephone/computer. Never learned how along with many other things I never learned. I extensively use my calendar, and everything eventually goes into my journal. In addition I have floating notes all over the place that oft-times float away. That is the biggest problem.

    At a different meeting this week, a lady showed us her daytimer. Hers is a regular 8 1/2 x 11 size. She writes everythig in it, and has 20 years worth of them. If her husband wants to know when they painted the house, she knows.

    I immediately realized that this is the answer for me. Everything in one place. It would be easier to find than in my journal, and why would my girls or grandchildren want to read twenty years from now about repairs or appointments? My journal is 400 pages so far this year.

    That lady will be a "show and tell" at our next meeting, and we will discuss how different people cope. Thanks, Robin, for your input. (I haven't learned how to do a quote and then my response and then a quote and my response.) Have patience.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: Starling

    My husband had cognitive therapy when he was in the early stages. The stuff works. In some places it is a speech therapist who helps you come up with strategies that works. In other places an occupational therapist.

    Talk to your doctor and have them send you to a stroke rehab center for some speech and/or occupational therapy. It sounds like something that will work for you.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: lurk

    quote:
    Originally posted by Mimi S.:
    Hi Lurk,
    I'm so glad you posted what you did.
    The I have AD thread is for us: you, Ttom, Snowy Lynee, myself and a host of others. I've been making a list and there are quite a lot of us.

    And there is absolutely no issue that affects you that cannot be discussed there.

    And believe me, word recall is a biggie. To me, one of the big advantages of all knowing I have AD is that when I can't remember something, it's no big deal.

    I think your group is a fantastic idea.

    Putting the states in alphabetical order would have been beyond me, unless they were written out.

    And practice does help.

    Another game is the old fashioned 'Memory Game." As is, it would be too difficult for me. But I'd begin with two or three pairs and then slowly work my way up.

    Puzzles, although not memory, are also good. Begin with whatever works with ease, even if it's just 25 pieces. Again, work your way up. I like to do puzzles on the computer.

    Good for you. And your subject is also legitimate. So do join us on the AD site.

    So keep it up and let us know what's going on.


    I took some time last night to read a few more threads on the I Have AD board, and I visited some other boards as well. Ah, so many problems. I still don't know how you and others cope, but you are an inspiration. Yes, I took note from previous posts on this board, and there are quite a few of "us", the ones with our own concerns.

    Thanks for your thumbs up. We did the states as a group, so you could have contributed. You would have known some of them. Everyone knew some of them; no one knew all. It was fun, but, there are lots of states. We missed five and had to go back and figure out which ones they were. At other times, I'll do presidents, etc.

    I like your attitude that it is no big deal to remember. Actually, it IS no big deal to remember everything--some things, yes.

    My husband likes puzzles, but we are working our way DOWN. We have decided that 350 pieces is just fine for us. I have to help him along sometimes. This will be another indication to me of where he is in his journey. (I hate to be reminded.)

    This time in our class, after the daytimer discussion, I am planning to play the "categories" game. Did any of you ever do that? I will have a rolled up newspaper--not very heavy--and point to someone and say a category and count to ten. They have to say something in that category before I get to ten or I bop them on the head with the newspaper.

    When we used to do it as a young married group, we had to stand up and say the word and sit down, but I will give these guys a break. I know them all well enough that I can do easy categories or hard ones depending. I will say something like colors, girls names or animals for my DH and my friend's husband.

    For an artist lady, I will ask for "not primary colors, not secondary colors, but some other artist color" (periwinkle, burnt umber, etc.). For an airplane mechanic, I will ask for airplanes. For ladies I will ask for kitchen appliances or cooking utinsels. For those well-read, I will ask for rivers, cities, etc.

    I plan to go fast and get them laughing; however, I plan to pause each time before I start counting as we all have a problem of quick recall. I'm hoping for a fun class. I'll let you know.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: Rkg

    Day Timers/Day Planners are fab! (just got to remember where the Day Timer is!) Big Grin

    But the information I stated about, the average person needing to see information 5 times for it to be remembered, is about how WE, (non AD people learn) Wink not our AD LO's. It's just a little statistic I learned as a Educator for a Hair Care Manufacture. Taken from studies done for the Advertising World. Example, the McDonalds commercials of the 70's. Any one over 40 knows how a BIG MAC is made. Remember the jingle? Two all beef patties, lettuce, cheese, special sauce on a sesame seed bun! The jingle was drilled into us. (that is why we get bombarded with tv commercials over and over.) Because if we see it only once we don't remember it! But if we see it over and over again, it's stuck in our minds. They sell more Big Mac's or whatever they are pitching to us.

    The same theory can be used in class room situations or to help our self's remember, because our brains (non AD or other brain issues) are bombarded with all the information that occurs in the world daily. We really need the 5 time theory.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: lurk

    quote:
    Originally posted by Mind-Start:
    Here a few compensations I recommend as an occupational therapist:
  • a place for everything and everything in its place. In other words, keep the keys on the same hook or location every time, preferably right by the door.
  • Keep a good calendar to track appointments. You can write it down as you make the apppointment and then read the date/time back to the scheduler to make sure you have it right.
  • Have a routine of how you do things each day and stick to it.
  • Do your more challenging tasks (ex. bill paying) when you are most rested.

  • I will write these down verbatim and use them in my class.

    My keys are in my purse in the same area all the time, but . . . I put my purse on my shoulder to go some place. I pull out the keys. I walk to some other location in the house and gather up whatever I am taking with me. I load it into the car. I can't find my keys anywhere. I walk back upstairs (great for the crappy knees) and learn that I put them down to gather up the "stuff". I do it over and over. My answer--leave the damn keys in the purse!

    I have a schedule and DON'T stick to it, but kinda, sorta do.

    I agree about doing the more challenging tasks when I am most rested; that would be morning as I am a morning person, but that's the only time I have a block of time to visit the boards--my new hobby. Love it; love you all.

    Actually, I do pretty well. I just want to identify the specific problems and find ways to fix them. And maybe help others in the process. I appreciate your help.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: lurk

    quote:
    Originally posted by Starling:
    My husband had cognitive therapy when he was in the early stages. The stuff works. In some places it is a speech therapist who helps you come up with strategies that works. In other places an occupational therapist.

    Talk to your doctor and have them send you to a stroke rehab center for some speech and/or occupational therapy. It sounds like something that will work for you.


    I have read this with interest when you have posted about it before. It's in my memory bank. I'm thinking more along the lines of help for "dearly beloved" if he begins to have problems in communicating, but I would be hanging onto every word.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: sf

    Lurk this will make you smile. I always use a Daytimer, they are great - everything in one place. I recently left mine on the of my car and it flew into space as I drove away and forgot it was up there. I was on a major highway so there was no going back, oh well.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: lurk

    SF, no that does not make me smile; it makes me horrified. And I thought I had the perfect answer. I'd probably better give some thought to my daytimer flying off the roof of my car now. Roll Eyes
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: lurk

    Yes, you're right. I read and noted, just didn't comment. And I certainly do go over and over my schedule and To Do and things to remember lists when I am lying in bed, sleepless, and having a planning meeting with myself. "Let's see, take the car in, go to the office supply store, grocery store, pick tomatoes, lunch with friends, FHE with family. DO NOT forget to call . . . Then I start over.

    Plus, I have read that it takes three weeks or 21 days to form a new habit. Time, time, time--no problem. Wink I'll comment on those concepts in my class. Thanks.
    Anonymous
    Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Originally posted by: lurk

    Just FYI, we did our third Memory Class today. I asked for feedback, and they want to continue. We changed the name to something more specific and descriptive. It needed to indicate that it was a "Memory and Intellect Preservation and Enhancement Club". We settled for the "Senior Moments Club".

    Today we matched states with state capitals. I learned more than anyone as I made cards of each state and each capital to equal 100 cards and taped them to a board. They moved them around and had a great time. We also did a trivial pursuit type game about musicals and took time for a discussion about many things.

    I have been collecting articles about everything "memory", several from this forum. Sometimes articles say that nothing helps retain your memory, but I told the class that I will never stop working at it. I don't intend to "go lightly" into that dark night, but to "rage against the fading of the light". Most of them are with me; the others come along with their wives. Wink

    A funny thing happened. Yesterday, after an incident in the morning that got us off to a late start, I forgot to go to work. Eeker I'll spare the details. I consoled myself that I am an idiot, but I have always been an idiot so there is nothing to worry about. My MS friend and her husband for whom I was supposed to work just laughed about it. They are in the memory class I am teaching. Perhaps someone else should teach the class. Razzer

    My husband doesn't help unless I ask, but has been wonderful to help transport supplies, etc. I appreciate his willingness to support me and let him know it. He doesn't usually respond.
     
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