Are you concerned about your memory

Memory is the ability of the mind to store and recall past sensations, thoughts and knowledge. Memory plays a key role in helping us plan for future events.

Changes in memory can be caused by several factors such as age, chronic illness, disuse, anxiety, medications, alcohol, sensory problems, poor diet, depression and grief.

There are strategies that can be used to reduce the impact of memory loss on daily activities and the stress and anxiety this can cause. These can include:

1. Using assistive devices that help to substitute for memory, such as:

2. Learning strategies, such as:

3. Developing habits, for example:

4. Carrying a notebook or tape recorder with you to record things that you need to remember wherever you are.

5. Keeping a notepad and pen next to the phone to write down messages straight away.

6. Concentrating on one task – avoid doing two things simultaneously and minimise external distractions, e.g. turning.

8. Pre-planning events – use diaries, calendars, timetables, checklists or noticeboards to trigger things that need to be remembered or done.

9. Always keep items in the same place in the kitchen, laundry, bathroom and bedroom:

10. Organising information so that it is easier to remember – cue or prompt only when absolutely necessary.

11. Teach yourself or family member to repeat information out loud as you will remember it more easily.

12. Teach yourself or family member to ask for information to be repeated, clarified or given more slowly.

13. Capitalise on strengths- Is your visual memory better than verbal memory? If so use pictures to identify objects used often.