How Occupational and Speech Therapy Helps People with Memory Loss

According to research, about 40% of people aged 65 or older have age-associated memory impairment—in the United States, which amounts to around 16 million people.

Further research by WHO states that currently, more than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide. Plus, there are nearly 10 million new cases reported every year. The research is crystal-clear. With old age, the likelihood of memory-related issues increases.

Without timely intervention and the right kind of care, the situation can go from bad to worse within a short time of period. Additionally, the physical, social, psychological, and economic impact of people suffering from memory issues cannot be ignored.

If you or someone you know is struggling with memory loss the following occupational and speech therapy options can help.

How Occupational and Speech Therapy Can Assist People with Memory Care Problems

Boosts Retention by Using Memory Aids

The right memory aids and compensatory memory strategies can boost an older adults cognitive/communicative functions while helping them establish patterns. Some examples of memory tasks include:

  • Matching pictures where the individual must recall the location of everyday pictures
  • Finding the same symbols helps target functionalities such as attention, visuospatial processing, and executive functioning
  • Putting sequencing steps in order related to daily activities
  • Reading a clock or calculating the time, which targets skills such as visuospatial processing, memory, and calculations

Helps Boost Cognitive Functioning

Speech-language therapy exercises target swallowing issues as well as cognitive and communication capabilities. Remember that the inability to swallow can lead to unwanted weight loss and possibly death.

Plus, when used correctly, they can help bring to the surface fond memories and positive emotions.

Improves Communication Skills

The ability to accurately communicate one’s current mental, emotional and physical states is a prized possession for people with memory issues. This is where speech-language therapy can work wonders. It can help:

  • By working on lost functions
  • Teach someone how to cope better with their symptoms and manage their health
  • Improve speech-related issues and stimulate the brain so that language skills, including memory, are improved
  • Empower the individual to deal with the increasing sense of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and other forms of negative feelings

Empower Patients with A Sense of Self-Sufficiency

One particular study shows patients with dementia who were provided occupational therapy for a period of five weeks, improvied process skills by 75%, and 82% needed less assistance with activities of daily living.

In other words, occupational therapy can help lengthen the amount of time an individual remains self-sufficient.


A few examples of occupational therapy for people with memory loss include a combination of environmental modification, adaptive aids, problem-solving strategies, skill training, and care provider education and training.

If you are searching for fulfilling assisted living and memory care options, get in touch with us at Dellwood Gardens. Our singular focus is on providing high-quality senior care that is accessible and person centered.

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