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Dementia

06 November 2007

External memory aids

An important and commonly used memory aid is the good old diary. This strategy falls under the category of external memory aids.

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An important and commonly used memory aid is the good old diary. This strategy falls under the category of external memory aids.

Other aids include electronic diaries such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), alarm clocks and timers, pagers, and lists on memo-boards or sticky notes.

These external memory aids decrease the load on you memory engine. We all use them and they certainly make us more effective. Choose the external memory aid that you are most comfortable with and use it regularly.

Rumour has it that if you use a diary it will lead to “brain rot” because you are not using your brain (remember: use it or lose it). This is not true as a diary helps us to achieve more and we actually end up leading richer lives with much more stimulation for our upper storey.

Tips on using a diary

  • Use it regularly
  • Make it the one spot where you write everything down
  • Write it down while it is still fresh in your mind
  • Write complete notes

Written by Dr Frans Hugo, MBChB, M.Med Psychiatry and Dr L. Van Wyk, MBChB, M. Med (Psych) from the Panorama Memory Clinic.

For more information visit: Dementia SA: http://www.dementiasa.org/ or Alzheimer’s South Africa: http://www.alzheimers.org.za

 

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