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Mom had a rt temporal lobe stroke about 2 years ago. Since that time she has had increasing issues with short term memory. Does not remember any Thanksgivings after about 5 years ago and has no memory of Christmas/Thanksgiving last year.


Has anyone found any thing that helps? I was wondering if some multi-sensory experiences might help. Pictures remind mom but she says that it is like someone else was there.


She often says "I have never had that food before" or "Is this a new blouse?" when neither is new...but I just say "I'm glad you like it" or "Won't this look nice?"


It is particularly difficult to help mom remember the sequence to let someone in the front door or how to get the TV changed to a different program. Suggestions?

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my mother also had a mini stroke. she has short term memory loss. My brother was sitting next to her in court and she said she didn''t see him. they try to teach her the tests they give for dementia so she can pass them even thought she has already failed them and its documented by the doctor. She will only get worse. I don't think they want to accept this.She also can't follow notes or remember to read them or the calendar. I wanted to bring in help two days a week they dont want any help. APS say she can refuse help etc.
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Thanks for your suggestions and concerns...She is just finishing treatment for another UTI and that always makes her ability to sequence better.

She lives in a building with a secure door and I live in the same building. Usually I can hear her getting the call...and can intervene if needed.

She needs a chance to be independent...she is afraid of the kitchen and will not go there...so that is one hazard we don't have to worry with.
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All of the above answers are good. I guess what you really want to know is if her memory will get better....the short answer is NO. It sounds as if she has a form of dementia. You have a very stressful road ahead of you. Even if you leave her notes on what to do or instructions on how to use something it will not help her very much, as she has probably lost the ability to learn and/or how to sequence things. It will be frustrating to you and to her and she will be adament that she has either done something or not done something and you will not convince her otherwise! I remember my mom insisting she was not invited to her granddaughter's even though we had picture of her there (having fun) with the bride and groom. She even insisted that that was not her in the picture. I send you my blessings as being a caregiver is a very hard job. Lindaz
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I too would be concerned about letting someone in, especially if you're not there to see if the person is friend, family, or potential foe. I investigated getting exterior monitoring that could show who or what was outside, so determination could be made whether or not to open the door. But that also involves the ability to decide whether or not that person should be admitted, and with short term memory loss, that's not always an option.

If you've living in the same house, it might be that you could have such a system configured to show you who's at the door, and you could remotely buzz that person in (if desired). I don't have any idea how this would be set up electrically, or what the cost would be.

Our hospital ER has locked doors that have to be buzzed open by one of the staff. For family not arriving with the patient, there's a phone next to the door to call in for admission. Coupled with a video camera, you could at least determine who it is that's at the front door.

I believe some apartment buildings also have these kinds of monitoring systems. That might something to consider just for the door opening aspect.


As to memory generally, I've found that it can be stimulated by books and magazines of life in the Depression or WWII. Those tough times, as well as some later but not recent times, seem to be remembered more easily. I don't know though if that can be related to something like changing tv channels.

I think Blannie's idea is a good one. When I set up speed dial for my father, I typed brief instructions, followed by the speed dial number for each person, then taped it to the back of the handset.

I've also seen situations in which both short and long term memory just seem to short circuit temporarily, especially in stressful situations. Then it's really back to basics, step by step, leading someone through the process.

Wish I had some better suggetions; I think the issue is that with short term memory, the ability to create and retain the memories is lost b/c of nerve disconnection, and can't be recovered.

Someday in the future I suspect that there will be memory enhancers, some high tech stuff that probably will first be pioneered by the military, then commercialized by contractors.
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Glasshalfful, I read your updated profile that says you and your husband moved into the downstairs condo below your mom's. With the progression you describe, I would consider if she should be opening the door for anyone. I don't think there is anyway to safeguard that she would not open the door to a stranger. And there other things that she might do alone in her condo. Even if you remove all scissors, knives, toaster, medication, etc., there are still dangers in the home that she may be susceptible to simply because she doesn't remember safety tips.

I know that my cousin had trouble with her tv after a while. She just couldn't figure out, on/off and change channels. No amount of notes, instructions, etc., helped her. I could tape them on top of the tv, but it wouldn't help. In fact, she would remove the notes and throw them away, though she had no knowledge that she did it. She would deny that she did it, even though she clearly did.

Even if I had her read an instruction or explanation aloud to me, she could not tell me what it meant. The understanding was not there.

There was no way to explain things to her as she was incapable of learning new information and lost much of her existing information on how to handle her daily needs. After awhile this inability to function caused her a lot of anxiety and confusion.

Some people may have experience with medications like Aricept or Namenda helping, but I don't. Perhaps others will chime in if they do.
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I'd try pictures taped to the door about what to do, if you can figure out how to illustrate that for her. Same thing with the TV. Can she still read? If she can, I'd take a picture of the remote (assume that's what she's using), print it out, and then write out simple instructions on how to change the channel on or below the picture, like, 1. Press the number of the channel you want using these numbers." Then circle the numbers with a big red circle. Circle the "Power" button and say "Turn TV on or off by pushing this button."

My mom has no short-term memory. So I'm constantly writing her big notes that she can follow, if she can find the notes, LOL. Today I left her a note to comb the back of her hair when she took her curlers out. I left it on top of her box of curlers.

I have a note on her microwave to put her food on a paper plate. And I had to write on the note not to throw the note away (which she did before - ha!). That's the only way I've found to deal with my mom's memory issues. She's able to live on her own, solely because she has a routine and sticks to that. And she has a ton of help from me.
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I placed Mom into a Daycare hoping it would give her some stimulation. In 3 weeks haven't seen a change but I have been able to do things I haven't been able to this last year. Some say puzzles or games. Mom didn't do them before, no way I can teach her now. She even haas trouble reading. She was upset today because she didn't know where she was and no phone number to call me. I had to explain she lives in my house and all she has to do is call me, there's a monitor. Now the time has changed, I see sundowning more.
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