img_1791Recently my office mate told me that every time her father leaves North Carolina — to return home to Massachusetts after a visit — he leaves behind something that’s critical like his medications or his cell phone and she has to overnight the items to him.

Forgetting something is common when traveling, but the situation with my office mate’s dad is not common. He’s losing his short-term memory and forgets things on every visit. If your loved one is having the same problem:

  • Make a list of critical items. Use words and pictures (like those you see here). Pictures are often more helpful to people with memory issues than words. Photograph each of your loved one’s essentials items and include them on your list.
  • Be sure the list includes the name of every prescription medication so the names can be matched against their containers.
  • If you have young children, make a game of searching the house for everything grandpa needs to take home. They can use the pictures, too.
  • If you don’t have young kids, go over the list with your loved one. Do so in a way that’s not demeaning. Put the focus on him and on wanting to be sure he’ll have what he needs when he gets home, as opposed to saving you the aggravation of a trip to the post office.

Any advice you can offer on this would be appreciated. After all, none of us really have time to make repeated trips to the post office or FedEx!