I’ve written before about cognitive rehabilitation for people with memory loss. Researchers at the University of Miami are conducting clinical trials in this area, and people like Morris Friedell are conducting their own informal programs. Paul Whitby, a clinical psychologist working in the National Health Service in England, has been teaching a memory rehabilitation class for professionals for several years now.
“I reckon that a lot of our nurses still think that if somebody has dementia then there is no point telling them anything because they won't remember it,” he says. “I try to work on the notion that if you have dementia (or any other memory problem), then there is all the more need to put a bit more effort into telling you things carefully and in a way that will stick (Spaced Retrieval) and making important information obvious, ready to hand and easy to use (calendars, notebooks).”
Paul has put together a Memory Book of practical ideas to encourage people with memory loss and their care partners to try rehabilitation. The booklet also has tips on coping mechanisms.