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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Memory Aids That Really Work

The following Memory Aids were found in Palmore’s Older Can Be Bolder.[i]  He asks the question: Are there memory aids that really work?  Here is what he says:
·      Write it down. The act of writing itself helps to process memory as well as serving as a reminder if it is written on your calendar or posted in a prominent place.
·      Create a visual image. This helps process the memory into another area of the memory banks
·      Associate it with something you already know; connect the memory with another one, such as another similar name or word or image.
·      Memorize small chunks at a time.  Think of a phone number as three chunks (area code, the exchange, and the individual number), not one long number
·      Be consistent about where you put things. Designate one or two places that you put down your glasses or key or wallet or hearing aid. Do not put your wallet away until you have put your credit card back in it.
·      Look for visual cues. To remember where you parked, look for specific landmarks, or write down the number of the space
·      Set a timer to remind you to take care of something, like turn of the burner or wake up from a nap.

         These are excellent suggestions but it takes a while and effort to make them a natural part of our activity.  My favorite phrase is “a place for everything and everything in it’s place,” It sounds simple but it takes a great deal of concentration to get it working.  I think a key factor for using this type of material. In younger days, memory items seemed to take place without much effort on my part.  And in my case I need to struggle to remember to remember. From now on I will carry a notebook and also make more notes in my online calendar.
         For the last two weeks our house has been chaotic, new flooring is being put in and there are boxes of clothes, tools, and whatever all over the place. So right now few things have a place. Maybe this can be a good lesson about aging in chaos.  I must sign off now and see if I can find my car keys!  Good luck to you.

[i]  Older Can be Bolder ISBN 9781466249271

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