Short term memory loss is a part of growing older. But, your instincts tell you when the situation has turned a corner. If you are suspecting that your memory is wrecking havoc, slow the process with the tips, below. Here is your homework:
Consult a doctor. If your memory loss is bad enough that it severely inhibits your everyday life, visit a general practitioner. He or she can evaluate your symptoms and refer you to an appropriate neurologist, immunologist or other specialist to treat your condition. It is important to set your mind at ease about the possibility of underlying medical conditions causing the memory loss, otherwise you risk adding anxiety to your frustration.
Set up a daily routine. While a daily routine won’t improve your short term memory, it will help you overcome some of the difficulties you experience as a result of short term memory loss and lessen the frustration. The security of your routine will let you focus on the fun parts of improving your memory, not on stressful parts of losing it.
- If you regularly misplace your eyeglasses or car keys, try putting them in the same exact place every day, without fail.
- Create special spots for all items that tend to go missing and make an effort to always put the items in that spot.
- If you struggle to remember whether you’ve eaten or taken your medication, stick to designated mealtimes and purchase a days-of-the-week pill container that you stock up every Sunday night.
- Set alarms on your phone, computer or clock to remind you.
- Write down your routine so you won’t forget it. Post it somewhere prominent, like on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator, or enter it into your calendar app with reminders or on a wall calendar in a place you pass often.
- Write down every appointment or social engagement as soon as you make it. Program it into the calendar on your phone, or carry a small paper day-planner with you. In fact, doing both is ideal, as the act of writing helps to solidify the memory.
Keep a journal. If you struggle to remember what happened during the previous day, start keeping a journal. Jot down important items of information or other things you’d like to remember, even food intake, people whom you said you’d catch up with again and books read. Review as necessary.
Try remembering smaller chunks of information. If you need to memorize something important and you’re finding it difficult to do so, separate the information into smaller groups. The most common example of chunking is phone numbers—–instead of trying to remember one 10-digit number, most people find it easier to remember two 3-digit numbers and one 4-digit number, like 123-456-7890. Try this technique with grocery lists, birthdays, names or other things you want to remember.
Lastly, go back and re-read Seven Ways to Stop Losing Your Mind! The more you work on exercise and healthy lifestyle, the stronger your mind will stay.
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Rolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.