Memory problems hit up to 60% of people with MS.
The good news is that You CAN compensate for your shaky memory. In general, there are two ways:
Remediation — exercises designed to improve memory function usually developed by a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, or neuropsychologist.
Compensation — strategies designed to make up for or avoid memory lapses.
You can start using compensation strategies immediately to supplement your memory.
Be more organized.
Use memory aids.
Here are some suggestions:
Consolidate and centralize! Designate one place in your home as the “Grand Central” information center.
Put up a calendar large enough to keep track of everyone’s appointments, activities, and social engagements, with pens or markers hanging right beside it.
OR keep a computer in a central area with a calendar program. Set it up with a monthly schedule of reminders for routine tasks. Log on at regular times every day.
Make a place for mail, bills, phone messages, to-do lists, keys, wallet, shopping lists, and more.
If your reminders and information are scattered everywhere, your chances of forgetting obligations skyrockets.
On the Go
Take a small notebook or day planner with you as an extension of the home calendar. Log appointments, phone calls, things to do, and important instructions every day.
OR use a personal digital assistant (PDA) or a Blackberry. Program your PDA to remind you of tasks or appointments.
OR use a digital voice recorder to record your to-do list or other things to remember. It’s also easy to make notes to yourself on the go. Many can transfer information to a computer program.
Whatever tool, keep it with you at all times and transfer information to/from the home calendar regularly.
Keep the system simple! Limit your memory aids to one at home and one to go. This should make backing up your memory manageable and stress-free.
Use your memory tools consistently. Routine makes it easier to remember and get things done.
Author: Janet De Clark, MA, CCC/SLP, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis