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Categories > Aging Well > Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Memory tricks that work

Where did I put those keys? What’s my neighbor’s daughter’s name? To improve your memory, try these strategies:

  • Keep running lists. You’re more likely to buy what you need at the store or call everyone you want to invite to a party if you write everything down.
  • Stop multitasking. You may have trouble remembering things because you’re not fully paying attention. Focus on one activity at a time, so you’re more likely to remember it.
  • Use mnemonic devices. If you’re heading to the supermarket for milk, apples and paper towels, it’s easier to remember the items if you make a word out of their first initials: MAP. To remember the names of the newest members in your book club, try to make a word out of their first initials: For example, Sue, Anne, Louise and Tonya are SALT.
  • Follow routines. Always take your pills when you wake up, and you’ll be apt to remember every day. Or hang your keys on the same hook and you’ll always know where to look for them. Keep an inexpensive pair of reading glasses in the same spot in each room where you curl up with a book. You’ll always know where they are, and you won’t have to run to a different room whenever you feel like reading.