Alzheimer's Disease

Ten Ways to Improve Your Memory

  1. DON’T PANIC! Allow yourself the time to remember the information, it doesn’t matter if this takes a little longer.
  2. Try to imagine where you were when you first heard or saw the information that you are trying to recall. Put yourself back in the same context as vividly as possible.
  3. Pen and paper are the most useful tools to aid your memory. If your memory is not very good, write things down. Do this for even fairly mundane things because when someone asks you what you did yesterday, you can come up with an answer, rather than, ‘I can’t remember’, which is not helpful for your confidence. Attach a pen or pencil to the notepad and keep it with you as much as you can. Having post-it notes can be extremely helpful as well. Some people carry a card with important numbers on them but beware that banks say we should never write down our PIN numbers for our bank accounts. Diaries work well because they can help you to organize information and also keep you in touch with days and dates.
  4. Try to ‘muster up’ all your concentration when carrying out an activity or taking in information that you may be liable to forget Try to repeat the information back to yourself from time to time, for example, ‘Her name is Catherine’.
  5. Combine a visual image with words, for example, ‘Her name is Catherine and she has curly hair’.
  6. Keep everything in its place as far as is possible. For example, keys and spectacles are easy to misplace, so put them down in the same place whenever you can. Again, when you put them down try to ‘visualize’ the place in order to jog your memory. If you put your keys on to a specific table, imagine the table carved into the shape of a giant key. The more humorous and larger than life the image, the more likely you are to remember it.
  7. If you need to take a certain object with you when going out, for example, an umbrella, put it in front of the door, perhaps on the mat. You will have to step over it to go out and you will see it and remember it.
  8. Use ‘stick it’ notes in prominent places. For example, near the cooker or on the back of the kitchen door – ‘SWITCH OFF COOKER’, ‘PUT LIGHTS our. Also, cupboards can be labelled with the names of the objects that go inside.
  9. Go through the alphabet if you need to in order to remember a name or word.
  10. Be honest! ‘My memory is not as good as it used to be’ will often take the pressure off you, and many people can relate to this. Everyone recognizes that you have to adapt your life if you have a sore back, a hip replacement or diabetes, and it is just the same with having a poor memory. Most older people will experience some decline in their memory, and almost everyone will have had instances during their lifetime when their memory has been less than perfect.

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