Memory Strategies after brain injury

Memory Strategies after brain injury

Barbara J. Webster
By using memory strategies every day, adult survivors of acquired and traumatic brain injury can improve memory, decrease frustrations, and be more productive at home, school, work and the community. This tip card gives practical strategies for improving memory registration and memory recall.
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Full Description

This tip card explains how memories are formed and stored. Memory registration gets information into your brain. Memory recall helps you retrieve information already stored in your brain. Practical strategies show how to improve memory registration and memory recall. Checklists help survivors, caregivers and family members organize the day and household by using schedules, alarms, reminders, repetition, visual cues, planners, and calendars. Special sections include a Getting Out the Door Checklist, Tips for Personal Care Reminders, and Tips for Organizing Your Life. This tip card is helpful for anyone with memory challenges.
Pages 8
Year 2011


Barbara J. Webster

As a survivor of a brain injury and leader of hundreds of support groups for the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, Barbara Webster has extensive knowledge and experience with the cognitive challenges of traumatic brain injury. She is also author of a comprehensive workbook for survivors, families and caregivers titled, Lost and Found: A Survivor’s Guide for Reconstructing Life after a Brain Injury .  She is a talented and compassionate author and workshop leader on the challenges, frustrations and rewards of rebuilding life after brain injury.



Table of Contents

Why Can't I Remember?

Memory Processing

     What is memory registration?

            Tips for improving memory registration…

     What is memory recall?

            Tips for improving memory recall…

Getting Out the Door Checklist

Strategies to Improve Memory

            Tips for personal care reminders…

            Tips for organizing your life…



Why Can't I Remember?

Memory is one of the biggest challenges facing many survivors after brain injury. Memory impairments can be unsettling, frustrating and stressful. Trying to recall and perform routine functions can become formidable tasks. Changes in memory can affect everything from remembering to turn off the stove to paying your bills to keeping appointments. It can be the difference in being able to live independently, succeed in school or do your job.

By understanding the complexity of memory and using certain tips and practices, the survivor, family and caregivers can help minimize the effects of memory impairments. This tip card provides suggestions for improving memory by learning strategies that you can easily use every day.

Memory Processing

The process of forming and storing memories is complicated. Two parts are essential for memory processing. They are memory registration and memory recall.

Tips for improving memory registration…

· Create a schedule for daily tasks and repeat them in the same order every day. This helps you remember until you can do them automatically.

· Use an alarm for appointment reminders and times to take medications.

· Keep track of medications by using pillboxes marked with days of the week.

· Talk quietly to yourself while performing tasks.

· Take time to write down some important things in your life to remember and create a memory tool.

Tips for improving memory recall…

· Check your planner/organizer or calendar and “To Do” Lists first thing in the morning.

· Pick specific places for important items like medications, car keys, wallet/purse, etc. 

· Always put them away in the same place, so you know where to find them.

· Jog your memory by checking your lists before beginning tasks.

· Try these tips when you have difficulty trying to remember a word, situation or place…

                 Describe or define the word you're trying to remember.

                Visualize the situation or place.

                Try to remember the time of day or what the weather was like.