By Madeline Brungardt, M.S.CFY-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist at Vegas Voice Institute
5 Simple Memory Strategies
Has your loved one ever experienced that aggravating feeling that s/he has forgotten something but can’t remember what it could possibly be? Memory issues can be the result of many causes (traumatic brain injury, age, stroke, etc). Using simple memory strategies can be helpful. These strategies to improve memory are one of the focal points in cognitive-speech therapy. Fortunately, there are many straightforward approaches that your loved one can use to increase his/her memory and decrease the number of “I can’t believe I forgot that again” moments. Here, we will discuss 5 simple memory strategies your loved one can begin using everyday.
- External Cues/Writing:
This strategy may seem too easy to do but often many of us do not use the power of writing items down in notebooks, sticky notes, calendars, etc. By using a calendar, it’s easy to see an entire month of plans and “to-do’s” that are always within view.
- Environmental Placement Cues:
Use environmental cues to set yourself up for success. For example, if you have a package to send out, place it by the front door or by your keys, so that when you go out you remember to bring it to the post office.
- Rehearsal: Rehearsal is a simple way to engrain something you want to remember later into your brain. Repeating, reviewing, and practicing material that needs to be memorized until it is firmly in your mind. For example, you may want to remember someone’s name; by rehearsing the name over and over again, you are more likely to recall later.
- Associations: Group tasks, ideas, objects, or words together based on qualities they have in common. For example, you recently meet a woman named Jennifer with brown hair. You know you have a sister named Jennifer who also has brown hair so you can try to relate her name to your sister and the fact that they both have brown hair.
- Visual Imagery: This strategy relies on imagining tasks step-by-step For example, you want to make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner but you went to the store without a list. By using visual imagery, run through the recipe step-by-step in your head. Imagine each ingredient needed in each step to help you recall what you need at the grocery store.
By utilizing simple memory strategies throughout the day, your loved one will be more likely to recall that information they were forgetting.