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Early-Stage Alzheimer’s – 18 Ways to Maximize Function


This is a quick post to share some information I received at an early-stage Alzheimer’s group meeting I attended at the Center for Brain Health. I believe they have included some really useful information here for those just beginning this journey and their caregivers. The handout lists “Strategies to Maximize Function.”  With just a few tweaks to certain activities and ways of doing  things, one can maximize function and independence.

Communicating

  1. In groups, ask people to speak one at a time

  2. Ask a conversation partner to slow down or explain something again.

  3. Reduce distractions and background noise while having a conversation.

  4. Use gestures or describe the item when having difficulty coming up with the right word.

  5. Remind conversation partners to give you time to answer.

  6. Consider telling conversation partners about your difficulties communicating. You can have a card or information sheet to provide in social situations.

Reading

  1. Read information more than once.

  2. Highlight or bookmark information that you want to look back at later.

  3. Read shorter material if longer texts become too difficult.

  4. Have someone read to you, then discuss the information together.

  5. Consider changing the media – listen to an audio book or watch a video clip from a news website.

Cooking

  1. Choose less complicated recipes.

  2. Cook with a partner – read the recipe together and get help with complicated steps or measurements.

  3. Split up the steps – ask someone to measure the ingredients so you can mix them.

Organization

  1. Keep a pad of paper with you to write down thoughts you don’t want to forget.

  2. Consolidate your calendar. Keeping up with calendars in multiple locations can be overwhelming.

  3. Use a pill planner or have a family member help dispense medications.

  4. Don’t try to do it ALL yourself! Ask someone to help and split up the duties if keeping track of everything on your own becomes to difficult.

Source: Center for Brain Health

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