Memory Exercises That Work

Memory strategies are known to everyone who has ever learned the alphabet, a poem, or prepared for a test in school. By refreshing one's use of common memory strategies older adults can work wonders in offsetting normal age- associated memory skill loss. These memory skill strategies, discussed here in greater detail, include:

1. PAY ATTENTION

Sometimes the reaction to a frustrating search for your glasses is - "There I go again, my memory is slipping." Your memory ability may be just fine. The problem may be not paying attention. The simple step of developing a habit of actively paying attention can save much frustration.

Example: Perhaps you have had to search for your car keys, been in doubt as to whether or not you took your morning medication correctly, or found yourself in a room wondering what you came searching for?

Memory exercise: Pay attention - stop - look - listen. It takes no more than a second to say, "I am putting the keys in my jacket pocket."

2. REHEARSE - REPEAT

Information must be rehearsed to be placed properly in long-term memory.

Example: You are in the shower and get an idea you wish to discuss with your spouse. You can't make a note, and you don't want that great new idea to slip away. What to do?

Memory exercise: You must rehearse ( repeat to yourself) your idea to talk to your spouse. You may forget if you used shampoo and a conditioner, but you'll remember your new idea.

3. CHUNK

This is a rehearsal strategy.

Most people have the ability to remember short lists, such as in a phone number, if they group - or chunk - the list items.