Many people with early-stage dementia continue to successfully manage their everyday activities. But it’s important to look ahead to a time when performing daily tasks will be harder. The sooner you adopt new strategies to help you cope with changes, the more time you will have to adjust to them. Here are some tips:
- Organizing your days. Write down to-do lists, appointments, and events in a notebook or calendar. Some people have an area, such as an entryway table or bench, where they store important items they need each day.
- Paying bills. Setting up automated payments is an easy way to pay your bills correctly and on time without having to write checks. Consider asking someone you trust to help you pay bills. That person could review your financial statements and ask you about anything unusual.
- Shopping for meals. Many stores offer grocery delivery services. Meals on Wheels America can deliver free or low-cost meals to your home, too, and this service sometimes includes a short visit and safety check. If you make your own meals at home, consider easy-to-prepare items, such as foods that you can heat in the microwave.
- Taking medications. You can try a weekly pillbox, a pillbox with reminders (like an alarm), or a medication dispenser. You can buy these items at a local drugstore or online. You may need someone to help you set these up. Or try an electronic reminder system, such as an alarm you set on your phone or computer.
- Getting around. If you drive, you may become confused, get lost, or need more and more help with directions. Talk with your doctor about these changes. Take family and friends who express concerns about your driving seriously.
Get more tips about living alone with early-stage dementia on the NIA website.