Making memorization fun: Tips and tricks to strengthening your memory
Oct 5, 2012, 2:23 p.m.
A common symptom of aging is having some degree of memory loss or difficulty remembering things. Improving memory can be done at any age, and as a person ages, it can be beneficial to make use of some tips and tricks to strengthen your memory. Medicare benefits will pay for some programs that are designed to help older persons with cognitive abilities.
Programs that help you with improving memory and speech therapy can make quite a positive difference. Participants can learn small memorization tricks and tips that help persons who are recovering from strokes and other cognitive impairments.
Here are a few ways to make memorization fun and improve your memory:
Keep your mind alert by participating in social activities, games and learning. Read books, play crossword puzzles and maintain a calendar for important events; review appointments daily.
Memorize only important things; track less important things on paper.
Use association to maintain memories; relate items to other items of importance. By associating, for example, a birthday date to a holiday date (usually only one holiday per month) you can easily remember the birthday because you are not likely to forget the annual holiday.
Try to make memories visual; by visualizing the item you employ more than one sense to secure that memory, like a back-up plan.
Associate items with other important people, places or events. This reinforces the memory.
Be consistent with placement of important items like your car keys. Put them always in the same place and be conscious about that -- tell yourself silently or aloud where you are putting those keys.
Reinforce memory with additional senses, such as sound (verbally saying where you put something as you do it), sight, touch or taste.
Relax -- if you cannot remember a certain word, eventually it will arise to the top of your memories. Give yourself some time and allow for the fact that with age, your brain has been quite filled with memories. Like a computer, it may take a little time to sort through the amount of knowledge you have stored.
Make an extra effort to learn -- when you meet someone, repeat their name as you study their face, repetition can really boost memory skills.
Put a list on your exit door of items you really need to take care of, like turning off the stove, setting out the trash, or other things you normally do not pay attention to but that bother you later on as you try to remember if you actually did them.
Other things you can do for fun include childhood memory games. At social events, try the alphabet game, license plate game or the simple memory card game. These all help keep your brain sharp and functioning in the same way that exercising keeps your muscles fit.
Improving memory can be fun and not distressing. If you need help, use your Medicare benefits that are available for persons experiencing cognitive disorders, Alzheimer's disease and other problems that affect memory. Having a good memory can greatly improve your quality of life. Relax, enjoy and take pride in your memory skills.
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