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Memory Training Strategies

Memory Training Strategies

Loss of memory is the major symptom of dementia. Although many people may be absent-minded, this is totally different from the loss of memory in people with dementia. In these people, the loss is continuous, gradual and not occasional. This loss of memory will influence their work or performance in daily life. For example, they may repeatedly purchase daily necessities or get lost on their way home, and clients who are in the late stages of the disease will find their self-care ability being seriously affected. For instance, they will forget how to get dressed or take a bath.

Difference between loss of memory in people with dementia and absent-mindedness:

Memory Loss in Dementia
Normal Absent-mindedness
All experience
Some experience
Forget things or person's name
Delay in calling out a person's name
Follow the direction of words and sound
Ability gradually declines
Usually can
Ability to make use of sign posts or remarks to distinguish and recognize environment
Gradually declines
Usually have
Can describe the scene and story of a film or book they have watched or read
Ability gradually lost
Usually can
Ability of self care
Ability gradually lost
Such ability usually retained
Ability of self care
Gradually lost
Usually have

Strategies to promote recall:

  • Helping the elderly to understand the contents can aid their memories
  • Help the elderly to analyze the information concisely and in detail, such as its practical meaning, its value to the elderly, and the emotion it arouses in them may well make them remember the information
  • Simplify and reduce unnecessary or redundant material
  • Provide only small amounts of information each time and repeat it frequently
  • Pause each time that information is provided, so that the elderly have sufficient time to handle the material and respond; it is best to make only one request each time
  • Gradually lengthen the time for each memory description
  • Utilize the learning method of "mistake avoidance". At the beginning, provide the correct answers to the elderly each time, and then help them to memorize the material, reduce unnecessary errors, and organize the information to aid memory
  • Classify the information according to the following methods to aid memory:
    • Special features of the material, such as shape, size, color, texture, temperature, etc.
    • Function of the material
    • Country of origin of the material
    • Practical value of the material
  • Interlink the material so that it is easier for the elderly to think of some new information from a related piece of information:
    • Link new information with previous knowledge to assist the imagination
    • Use diagrams and pictures to enhance the imagination
    • The greater the value of that linked piece of information to the elderly person, the stronger their imagination
  • Match wordings with rhymed folk songs or different musical notes to aid memory

TAG: Memory Strategies Training