Article - How To 'Jog' Your Memory
|Print this page|
Tip: Exercise Regularly
Tip: Establish Routines
Tip: Use Memory Aids
Tip: Help A Loved One
Memories. They link us to our past and guide us through our daily lives. Some people have instant recall of names and phone numbers, while others have a virtual string permanently tied to their fingers. Whether due to stress, aging or disease, normal memory loss or forgetfulness will afflict all of us at some point in our lives. The staff at Dynamic-Living.com advocates a common sense approach to preventing memory loss and improving retention.
Most people remain both alert and able as they age, although it may take them longer to remember things. There are a number of typical factors involved in memory loss that can be addressed by basic good health practices as well as a practical approach to helping a person remember.
Here are some useful tips for stimulating the "memory banks."
Tip: Exercise Regularly.
There is an abundance of evidence citing the general benefits of exercise.
Of particular interest are the new studies that show the benefits of regular exercise on memory retention. Some form of mild aerobic exercise, such as walking for 20 minutes at least three times a week, stimulates blood flow and delivery of essential oxygen to the brain. The old axiom 'move it or lose it' takes on new meaning when considering the effects of inactivity on memory. Physical activity also encourages good sleeping habits, giving your brain the rest it needs in order to concentrate and remember. Always check with your doctor first before initiating an exercise program.
Tip: Establish Routines.
Many people benefit from having specific routines in place for dealing with daily tasks. When one task is remembered, it triggers a series of memories that help recall the other things that also need to be done. For example, a bedtime routine might include general hygiene tasks like brushing your teeth or taking medication and reading a chapter in a book. Written checklists are also terrific for remembering tasks that have multiple steps. Make routine use of wipe-off boards, Post-its and calendars. Carry a small notebook for jotting down reminders.
Other helpful routines include parking the car in the same basic location at the store on each visit and always returning items, such as car keys and eyeglasses, to the same place.
Tip: Organize Personal Space.
Keep in mind the old adage 'a place for everything and everything in its place'. By eliminating physical clutter, you can avoid hours of searching for that 'lost' item. Use readily available office and closet organizers throughout the house. When you can't see into a container or drawer, it is very helpful to label it with a meaningful phrase or list, so you know the basic contents without having to search through it every time you look for something.
Tip: Use Memory Aids.
Memory aids can be particularly useful in organizing our daily lives and facilitating recall. Dynamic Living offers numerous aids to meet a variety of needs. Some are designed for people who best respond to auditory cues like buzzers, music or taped messages. Other products serve as visual reminders. Here are some examples:
Vibrating Timers: Rather than audible reminders, vibrating wristwatches and pocket clocks offer a quiet vibrating reminder.
Photo Phone: Uses photographs to identify pre-programmed telephone numbers.
Tip: Help A Loved One.
Although a certain level of memory loss is an inevitable part of aging, it can still be a sensitive issue. If you are concerned about how to approach a loved one who is struggling with memory loss, identify a specific area that needs memory support and offer an aid as a gift. Many of today's memory aids can be regarded as technical toys, which can assist anyone regardless of age. You might also consider offering loving gifts from grandchildren, such as taped reminder messages recorded in their voices or homemade signs or labels.
Helping our older friends and loved ones overcome the obstacles of memory loss not only decreases their frustration and confusion; it also makes them feel more confident and independent.
© Copyright 2000 Dynamic Living, Inc.
Dynamic Living Newsletter may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from the editor must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this newsletter.