There are so many terms out there regarding memory that there is a tendency to forget them all: forgetfulness, senility, dementia, old age, sundowners and Alzheimer’s are among the few. Click here for a basic article from Mayo Clinic that defines many of those terms. Any problems beyond simple forgetfulness must be discussed with a physician. Simple memory loss usually happens as people age and slow down due to retirement or medical conditions. There is no more need to race to work, to the store or to appointments. Time once again belongs to the individual rather than one’s boss, or young children. Although, parents with families who are super saturated with heavy scheduling may also benefit from a few tips. Finding ways to help keep thoughts past the 20 second short term memory will ease forgetfulness. Repeat names to yourself and phone numbers, then write them down. Make lists as well as make rolling ‘to do’ lists. No one can accomplish it all; once items are scratched off the list, start a new one with the remaining items and then add to the new list.
Memory is held for the most part in the front of the brain appropriately called the frontal lobes. So whacking one’s forehead with the heel of the hand may or may not jar one’s memory; there are better solutions. Overcoming simple forgetfulness requires a simple strategy that meets the needs of the individual. In the recent past there have been great strides made for rehabilitation of stroke and head trauma patients. Simple applications can be made to ever day life to exercise the brain. The card game of Solitaire incorporates three aspects such as colors, shapes and numbers. It can be played alone and most anywhere. It utilizes counting backward and forward and moving like shapes to one another as well as placing opposite colors in a sequence. It can also be easily played on the computer as there are no cards to find as in “Where did I put that deck of cards?”. If there is a dexterity problem with fingers there are no cards to deal by hand either.
Write it down
Exercise the brain
Use a wall calendar, a pocket calendar for a handbag or coat pocket
Separate lists, groceries on pad in kitchen and personal in cabinet in bathroom or laundry area
Items for lawn care, place a pad in the garage for a separate list *a pencil at each place there is a list pad
All of these can be done on electronics as well PDA and Blackberry devices
Use the computer desk top Post it Note and check daily, easy way to create rolling to do lists
Try doing simple Crossword puzzles or Word Finder
Text Twist on Yahoo Games is great for exercising the brain
Remember to add something fun on one of those lists and Do it!
The right half of the brain is the creative side of individuals and the left side of the brain is practical and mathematical. Click here for a short test for right brain / left brain dominance. The results are given at the end of the test letting one know what part of the brain is dominant; explanations are given as well.
Write it Down or Look it Up! (1977) An older pharmacist always said those wise words, and lived by them, also noting that is why there were pencils, paper and reference books. Save brain cells and remember what is necessary, challenge the brain to increase memory. Imagine what that pharmacist would think about today’s electronic information world at our finger tips.