How can keep my mind mentally alert? Part 2

By Machaela Magennis, 6:52 am on

Some ways to support a Healthy Ageing Mind

Last week we gave you some tips to improve your mind through brain activities. It can definitely be a case of “use it or lose it” and it can be really easy to incorporate regular mental exercise into our everyday routines.

Now let’s switch our attention to improving our short term memory. By remaining socially, mentally and physically active, we have a better chance of improving our short term memory, and to help you achieve this, here are some quick tips:

  • Spend a few minutes each night recalling the events of the day with a loved one or care partner.
  • Pay special attention to the date and the headlines in the news.
  • Review a few conversations for content and ideas. Recall what you had for breakfast and lunch.
  • Memorise phone numbers, names, word spellings and your new word of the day.
  • Visualise some of the scenes you witnessed during the day and recall the objects that made up that scene.
  • Once or twice a day, close your eyes and try to recreate the mental picture of what is 180 degrees behind you.
  • Sketch an object you have just looked at. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
  • Keep up to date with what is current in books, plays, movies and music. 

A great technique to improve your memory is “chunking”. This means you put ideas, objects or details into groups. For example, when trying to remember a phone number, put them into groups of 3 or 4 digits and remember the sets of digits. Or create acronyms of what you need to remember. For instance, if your grocery list is (M)ilk, (B)read, (C)hicken and (O)ranges, you could remember “COMB”. The acronym activity won’t always work but it is still a great one to try.

(These ideas have come from the book “Happy to 102 – The Best Kept Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Kathy N Johnson, PhD, CMC; James H Johnson, PhD and Lily Sarafan, MS. To find out how you can have a free copy, just contact us at Home Care Assistance Brisbane North). 

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