Active Mind
    Betsy Kane

The memory skills one has developed, in large part, depends on how much theses skills are used.
Studies suggest that by using memory skills and exercising your brain – through continuing
education or keeping your brain active – that people can maintain their memories. Develop your
hobbies and expand the activities you do. Jigsaw puzzles, card games, crossword puzzles,
gardening, collecting, crafts, and computer games will keep your brain working.
Memories can be strengthened by discussing your experiences with others. Talking with friends
or colleagues or expressing your feelings about an experience requires that you organize
information and relate the parts you think were most important. That creates new connections in
the brain and strengthens your memory. You can also keep in touch with your own life stories by
sharing them with others.

Diaries are great memory aides. Writing things in a diary allows the brain to assimilate
information and assists in the formation of new memories. Old memories remain intact and the
act of recording new memories becomes more efficient.

Organization and planning is a great memory aid. Writing things in a planner or appointment
book means you don’t have to actively remember schedules and frees up brain power for creative
endeavors or new ideas or projects.

A daily routine gives you the structure to anchor your memories. The daily rhythms of having a
place to go everyday, be it work or day program, helps people keep connected with everyday life
and their own memories.

Keeping and displaying mementos (photos, postcards, tokens, etc.) help to remind you of
wonderful experiences. Change them frequently so they don’t lose their power!

Revised: Friday, December 05, 2003