Tips to cope with memory problems
Identifying exactly what kind of memory difficulties you are affected by can help you and your health team devise a coping strategy aimed at reducing the impact of these problems on your everyday life. You may find the following suggestions useful:
Take care of yourself
Our energy levels affect how well we function mentally. Getting a good amount of sleep (6-8 hours) and eating regular, healthy meals can help improve your capacity to memorise and recall memories.
Keep things relatively simple
Memory difficulties may affect your ability to undertake complex and energy-demanding activities. It is important for you to know your limits and avoid overworking yourself to the point of feeling confused and anxious.
Keep a diary
A diary is a good way to keep track of your appointments and any other arrangements you may have planned. It may be useful to get into the habit of writing everything down and checking your diary regularly. You can also use alarms on watches or mobile phones to remind you of specific tasks or appointments or even just to remind you to check your diary.
Medication organisers or pill boxes
If you are taking prescription medication you may wish to buy a medication organiser or pill box. Medication organisers and pill boxes will allow you to track what you have to take and by when. These are available from most pharmacies.
Develop a set routine
Try to develop a set routine and try to leave items in the same places around your home so that you know where to look for them. For example, if you have difficulty finding your house keys, try to always leave them in the same drawer or try leaving a note on the door reminding you to take them.
Leave yourself reminder notes
Reminder notes can help you with things you might otherwise forget, for example, you could leave yourself a note by the front door reminding you to check that windows are closed and that the hob is off before you leave the house or you can leave a note on your bedside table at night reminding you to check you have locked up.
Store important telephone numbers
For easy access, you could store useful telephone numbers in your phone or on a single piece of paper. You could list an 'in case of emergency' (ICE) number in your phone so that someone else can find it for you even if you can't.
For more information on how to cope with memory difficulties visit the American Brain Tumour Association website.
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