Leaflet: Hints and tips for helping your memory

No one has perfect memory. Our memories can be affected by many things:

  • Poor hearing (if you can’t hear, you won’t remember!)
  • Trying to do too many things at once
  • Feeling sad, anxious or worried
  • Physical illness

Keeping well with memory problems

Regular routines
Have a daily routine, which includes time to relax and also some stimulation.

One place for everything
Put your keys, glasses and purse in the same place – try using a large, brightly-coloured bowl.

Do one thing at a time
For example, don’t make a hot drink whilst making a phone call.

Distractions
Our memories work better if we are not in noisy or busy places. So try turning the TV off if cooking a meal.

Times
Use the good times for you for things that require more concentration. Do jobs at your own pace. Don’t let others hurry you.

Relax
If you forget something, try to keep calm…getting anxious makes a
memory worse.

Support
Ask your health care worker if you feel you need more help and advice.

Equipment which can help

Try to use things to fit the skills you have. If you have never used a phone with a calendar, it may prove very hard to start using one now. Please consider advice from health care professionals before buying any expensive items.

Traditional

  • Diary & calendars: Keep where you see it frequently. Cross the date off before you go to bed. Use one with enough space to add visits and appointments.
  • Daily newspaper: Have one delivered so you are sure of the day & date, but put the old one out every night or cross through the date at bedtime.
  • Contact numbers: Keep a list by your phone and a copy in your wallet/purse.
  • Calendar clock: Some display the time, date and day of the week.
  • Permanent reminders: Perhaps a laminated A4 sheet by the front door (or door you mainly use) to remind you to take keys, wallet, shopping list.

Electronic

There are many devices on the market but not all are straightforward so please ask advice from family, or your Active Ageing Health Team before buying – or you may waste your money!

  • Alarm clocks: A clock, timer or watch with an alarm can remind you – but you may need to write a note by the clock so you know why it is bleeping!
  • Mobile phone: If you are familiar with your phone you can programme reminders in. GPs and dentists can send text messages to remind you of appointments. There are easy to use phones, with fewer buttons and for calls only, now widely available.
  • Medication reminders: It is very important to take the right tablet at the right time. Please talk to your pharmacist to help get the right reminder box for you

List of useful contacts

Fill this in and keep near your phone.

Doctors / GPs surgery:

Active Ageing Team:

Community Nurse:

Dentist:

Pharmacy:

Optician:

Social Services:

Other contacts:

This leaflet can be provided in other formats and languages, please contact us for more information.

Date of creation: February 2019 / Date of review: February 2021 / URN: 481