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Chapter 1

Life Hacks to Improve Memory

Forgetfulness is one of the signs of aging, and if you are having a problem with your memory even before you enter your senior years, there are many ways to improve it using the following tips.

For the elderly:

  1. Use color coding when it comes to organizing your keys. Mark each key with different color to enable you to know where that key is intended for. Hang the keys within your reach in the key holder cabinet. Keep a record of your keys by writing them in a journal with their photos in case you forgot the color representation.
  2. Take a photo where you parked the motorbike, bicycle or car using your smartphone or digital camera for easy recall. Don’t forget to memorize the plate number, date of registration, color, and model. This is to help you recall in case you forgot where you parked it.
  3. Write down in your journal the name of the person you met recently, and try recalling their names by associating them with codes. Say for example, Ana; try associating the name with apple, nut, and ant. Try to memorize and say the name several times while alone.

 

  1. Refresh what you learned in school by trying to visualize them and jot down what you have recalled. Try to recall the capital of countries, names of planets and their order, the colors in the rainbow, inventions and their inventors, musical keys, scientific names of plants, names of heroes and presidents in your country, and to name a few. You will be surprised that your memory goes back if you do this regularly.
  2. Sharpen your memory by playing scrabble with your grandkids if they happen to stay with you. If you live alone, make use of your smartphone by accessing some brain training apps, such as Math Brain Booster Games, Lumosity, CogniFit Brain Fitness, Memorado Brain Training Games, Peak – Brain Training, Eidetic and a lot more. Ask your caregiver to assist you in surfing and downloading the apps.
  3. Listen to classical music using apps like YouTube, Spotify or Soundcloud to sharpen your memory. Classical music is not only soothing; they stir your cognitive ability as attested by some studies. There is a wide selection of classical music by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Chopin that are available in different apps.
  4. Answer crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or play chess to sharpen your memory. They are not only best memory boosters, but they are fun to work on and helps fight boredom.

 

For the caregiver:  

  1. Memory-building games like memory or flash cards are not only for kids, but for the elderly that can stimulate their cognitive ability. There are numerous premade memory card sets with matching pictures of objects, such as plants, animals, things, places, fruits, vegetables, and numbers. Caregivers with artistic ability can customize their own flash cards to make it more personalized.
  2. Take a photo of the drawers and storage containers of the person you are caring for. Paste them in front of each container for easy identification of their contents. For example, paste the photo of socks, underwear, shirts, and short pants on the front of their respective drawers.
  3. Ask the elderly one question at a time, and dont bombard them with lots of irrelevant questions to prevent confusion. Instead of throwing an open-ended question, try giving the person with a multiple choice to get a better answer. For example, what does he want for dinner? Is it a cereal, porridge, chicken soup, grilled salmon or apple pie?
  4. Sharpen your seniors memory by letting him guess what things inside a guessing box. Make sure that the object is non-toxic, soft, easy and safe to handle. Reward your senior with food or things that make them happy for every correct answer.
  5. Let your senior watch educational videos that can stimulate the memory, instead of allowing him to watch horror or suspense movie that can cause physical reactions leading to muscle tension, shooting up blood pressure, increased heart rate, skin temperature drop and sweaty palms.
  6. Teach your senior some basic computer skills or how to use their smartphone to enable them to stay connected to their classmates, friends and relatives. Assist them in creating their social media accounts and instant messaging apps to communicate with them.
  7. Prepare foods that can boost their memory, such as berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, and mulberries), oily fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines), avocados, Greek yogurt, walnuts, broccoli, and dark green and leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and almonds.  Before preparing the food, follow the doctor’s advice on certain foods that should be avoided by your patient, and their food intake.

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