Hello, I'm Lizette, an occupational therapist with a fervor for assisting those with dementia and their caregivers. At Dementia Caregiving Made Easy, our mission is to change the perspective on dementia.
Today, we'll dive into two executive functions that impact daily life: time management and emotional regulation.
Memory Basics: A Recap
From our previous discussion, we remember that memory consists of:
This is the ultra-short-term storage where information stays for less than 30 seconds. Think of it as the place where you keep a phone number in mind just long enough to jot it down.
If you rehearse or use the information enough, it transitions here. This is where phone numbers you frequently use reside.
Over time, some memories are solidified and stored permanently. For instance, my grandmother's phone number from my childhood!
Time Management and its Impact on Daily Life
How well can you estimate time?
Let's play a game. I'll start a timer for a duration that's not a common whole number, and you'll guess how long it was when it beeps.
Now, for those struggling with time management:
Challenges in everyday tasks:
Poor time management can affect daily routines, work, self-care tasks, and meeting appointments.
Difficulty in Estimation:
Those with this difficulty might not gauge how long tasks take, or when to start preparing for an appointment.
Lack of Time Awareness:
This is seen in young children who frequently ask, "Are we there yet?" during car rides because they haven't yet developed a sense of time.
Miscalculating Time Elapsed:
This can manifest as repeatedly asking if it's dinner time when it's just been breakfast.
Recalling Time-Based Events:
Such individuals might forget when significant events happened in their life.
A frequent inability to be on time, misjudging traffic, and difficulty reading an analog clock can also be signs.
It's crucial to note that the brain's frontal and temporal lobes govern time estimation and management.
The Importance of Emotional Regulation and Locus of Control
What is Emotional Regulation?
It's the ability to remain balanced emotionally. Those with a strong internal locus of control often possess good emotional regulation.
They are resilient to daily annoyances and challenges, much like water off a duck's back.
On the contrary, those with an external locus of control might find it challenging to manage their emotions.
Getting easily frustrated.
Displaying socially inappropriate behavior like shouting, throwing things, or using harsh words.
Assessing Emotional Regulation with a Quick Test
Want to gauge someone's emotional regulation?
Here's a simple test:
Draw a line across a paper.
Recall events from the week, asking your loved one how they felt.
Mark happy events above the line and sad or frustrating ones below.
Connect the dots.
If there's a broad spread, it indicates potential emotional regulation issues.
Today, we unraveled the intricacies of time management and emotional regulation, two pivotal executive functions. And if you guessed the timer's duration correctly, kudos! If not, it was four minutes.
A fun way to self-assess time management, wasn't it?
Thank you for joining in. Stay blessed and keep thinking differently about dementia!
Let me know in the comments below if you have questions about dementia that you need answered.
If you would like more information on how to help a parent living with dementia, join our next free workshop here.