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8 Simple Strategies to Improve Memory as We Age

improve memories as we age

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by Ellen Blake

It’s a fact some of us have better memories than others. I am lucky I am able to remember minute details that I store in my brain for years, and access them quickly when needed. Lately, however, I feel my memory is not as sharp as it used to be. 

Brain science tells us memory changes with age in various ways. Dana.org created some excellent resources in honor of BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK (March 15 – 21, 2021) that outline simple strategies that can help improve our ability to learn and remember things more easily. Below are some of their recommendations:

Strategies to Improve Memory

Relax

Tension and stress make memory lapses more likely. We can’t control everything in our lives, but we can try to control our reactions, which improves learning and recall.

Slow down, pay attention, focus

Reduce distractions and interruptions, and pay close attention to what you are doing if you want to remember it later. Don’t rush; take time to be fully present and focused.

Repeat it

Repetition strengthens connections in your brain.

Write it down

Written notes both repeats the information and provides a visual reminder. Keep a small notepad in your pocket or purse, and leave one by the bed to make it easy to write down important messages to jog your memory.  You can also use your calendar or smartphone to write notes to yourself.

Visualize

Give your brain another way to access the information by creating an image of what you want to remember to improve recall.

Make associations

To embed information in existing synaptic connections, relate new experiences and concepts to what you already know. Many people use this techniques to remember names. For example, you might associate a person you meet at a function with the name of the venue.

Organize

Choose a place to keep things you use frequently in your home, and put them back in that spot after using.

Plan and prioritize

Multitasking is often more difficult as we age, which makes planning ahead critical. Prioritize all you need to do and realize some things simply must wait. 

Find more great resources for Brain Awareness Week and how to improve memory as we age here. 

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