Worried About Memory Slipping Away? Discover How to Stay Sharp

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Have you ever walked into a room, and forgotten why you went in there? Misplaced your keys or taken a bit longer to recall someone’s name? It’s normal albeit, somewhat annoying to forget things every once in a while, as we age. At the same time, forgetfulness, and what is normal and what is not, is a topic of concern for many as we get older, especially as a significant number of Canadians over 60 are facing the possibility of cognitive impairment. An alarming statistic, however research from McMaster University shows that various coping strategies can assist in managing memory loss, allowing for the ability to lead a fulfilling life.

1. In your home use visual tools

Write it down

Establish a habit of keeping an organized and updated calendar that helps you keep track of your activities. Keep a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule and write down your appointments, meetings and, social obligations. That may include jotting down the steps in a task you want to accomplish, or reminders such as shopping for a birthday gift.

Tidy home, tidy mind

Keeping your home neat and orderly is another key strategy to aiding the memory. An organized home can help prevent misplacing things and is important in our mental well-being. Designate a specific place for everyday items such as keys, wallet, or purse to streamline your daily routine. Incorporating visual cues in your home can help your retain information and minimize the risk of misplacing items.

Use labels

Labels are a great way to organize items in your home. Corralling hobbies such as craft materials in a labelled bin, colour coding labels on storage containers or using items such as pill organizers help keep things tidy and easily identifiable.

2. Improve Recall: Using Inner Tricks

Remember learning your ABC’s as a child and the song that helped you remember them? Simple rhymes and mnemonics aren’t just for kids, they help boost memory retention and recall. Another trick, try to think in pictures instead of words, a method used to strengthen the memory for hundreds of years. Visual images can be very effective memory prompts as is repeating information aloud.

3. Adapt to Changes: How Behavior Helps

It’s OK to ask for help. Cognitive impairment means you may need to adopt behavioural strategies to help manage memory loss. So, if you need assistance from loved ones, or you take a bit longer to accomplish tasks that were relatively easy before, that is perfectly normal.

Accepting and adjusting to these changes can be challenging, however it’s important to remember that getting used to something new takes time. Being kind and patient with yourself is an important part of this journey.

People respond differently to memory challenges; some may continue participating in social activities, which can be beneficial, while others may find it more difficult. The key is to find a balance that works for you, allowing you to stay engaged with society to the extent that feels comfortable and supportive.

MedicAlert: Enhancing Safety Amid Memory Challenges

If you need more than these strategies, taking steps to address memory concerns and seeking professional guidance can make a significant difference in maintaining your cognitive health. Memory loss is part of aging but doesn’t need to define your future.

However, if it turns out that you or someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, MedicAlert can be part of your plan. Our blue dementia ID safely stores critical health information in our Subscriber Health Information Database. Thousands of first responders have been trained to recognize the blue ID and how to care for people living with dementia giving you and your care givers peace of mind in the event of an emergency.