Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Top 10 Compensatory Memory Strategies

Shanda and I see a variety of clients at our clinic who are experiencing memory loss. One of the most common reasons for memory loss is when a person has had a stroke. A stroke most often occurs when the blood supply to the brain is stopped due to a blockage of a blood vessel to the brain or leakage of a vessel into the brain.  Strokes seem to cause the most difficulty in the short-term memory area vs. the other memory area called long-term memory. We find that the most clients will still have very good long-term memories that were established years before the stroke, but the ability to recall new information after a few minutes often becomes difficult for them.

*Short term memory is also known as recent or working memory. And it is defined as a system for temporarily storing and managing information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. Short-term memory is involved in the selection, initiation, and termination of information-processing functions such as encoding, storing, and retrieving data

*Long-term memory: A system for permanently storing, managing, and retrieving information for later use. Items of information stored as long-term memory may be available for a lifetime.
Other patients that we have seen that have exhibited changes in short-term memory loss have experienced traumatic brain injuries, or another neurological conditions or disorders such as; Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, Dementia or brain tumors. We have taught and practiced a variety of compensatory memory strategies and techniques with our clients over the years to help them learn ways to simplify and organize their lives, and to learn new information. 

Today's post is a list of our top 10 compensatory memory strategies that we like to teach our clients in therapy.  We hope that you find this information useful.  Thank you so much for stopping by our blog today. 

Manda & Shanda, SLP's

1)Use calendars, daily logs, appointment books, and/or journals.  It is essential to write information down so that you can easily look up information that you need to remember at a later time.

2)Use hand held tape recorders, iPads, cell phones and iPods, for recording ideas and other information that you want to remember.   Use these devices to help keep frequently used phone numbers and emergency phone numbers with you at all times.

3)Always place important things such as money, keys or glasses, in the same place so you will always know where to find them.   Designate one bowl or spot on a shelf, for instance, as the spot for the daily routine placement of these objects.

4)Bring someone with you to appointments if you predict that you may be receiving a lot of new information.

5)Use a bulletin board, calendar, or the front of the refrigerator as the “go to” spot for always posting appointments and events so that you and all people in your household can easily see what is planned for that day.

6)Use a telephone answering machine or utilize voice mail so that phone calls can be recorded.

7)Use checklists during tasks that require a number of steps and make a “to do” list daily.

8)Use timers and alarm watches to alert you to remember important appointment times and when to take medications.

9)Become better organized.  Reduce clutter in your surroundings. For instance, organize magazines and books into piles, put pills in pill boxes, keep all phone messages in a notebook next to the phone and not on a lot of different post-it notes.  Throw away or give away things that you have not used or plan not to use.  Make a clean environment.

10)Use compensatory memory techniques to remember information, lists, and names of people.  (Our top 10 memory techniques will follow in another posting).

*These definitions taken from Medicine Net Online on 6/19/2013


SLP Gone Wild said...

This is a great list! Thank you for posting!

Crazy Speech World

Twin Speech, Language and Literacy LLC said...

Thank you Jenn- nice of you to say!


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