Published on: October 24, 2015
by Ann Brenoff for Huffington Post:
Can’t think of the word on the tip of your tongue? Regularly misplace your car keys or waste time hunting for your reading glasses only to find them on top of your head?
You aren’t alone. By around age 50, most people notice that they are becoming forgetful. Whether you call it “senior moments” or “brain fog,” it pretty much happens to us all. Here are seven ways to beat forgetfulness.
1. Be wary of doorways.
Research form the University of Notre Dame found that the act of passing through a doorway can cause memory lapses. Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an “event boundary” in our minds. It’s probably already happened to you. You are wrapping gifts on the dining room table and walk into the kitchen to get a pair of scissors, but once you get there you can’t remember what you came into the kitchen for. Because the decision to get the scissors was made in the dining room, it still lives in the dining room. Make sense?
While living in a home with no doorways could be a bit problematic, it des make the case for more open living spaces in retirement homes.i
2. Technology is your BFF.
Like all best friends, sometimes it may frustrate you. But technology can be good for helping you remember things. You can use it to set calendar reminders, incorporate your grocery list into a note on your phone and to set the alarm function to remind you to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. You can put all your contacts’ information in one place, set reminders for friends’ birthdays, keep your recipes together and ping yourself reminders to pick up the dry cleaning, stop at the post office or feed the parking meter while waiting for the doctor to see you.
3. Technology is your BFF, part 2.
Use your cellphone camera to snap a photo of which row you parked in at the mall. It beats walking around aimlessly while you search for your car. Plus, asking the mall security cop for a ride in his little golf cart is seriously embarrassing and nobody has ever told you whether you’re supposed to tip him after.
4. Technology is your BFF, part 3.
About now you’re thinking, “Great, but what I lose most often is my phone, so what good is technology if I can’t find my phone?” Aha! The Tile to the rescue — a tiny Bluetooth tracker that helps find your lost stuff.
5. Get a labeled pillbox.
Sometimes we just go on autopilot, especially when the task is one we repeat daily. Forgetting whether you took your morning pills is a thing that happens — sometimes a lot. It leaves you with the dilemma of doubling up on your daily medications or risk having skipped them altogether. There’s no good solution to that one, but a labeled pill box with the days of the week will help to end this misery.
6. Use a GPS system.
There are plenty of good apps to remind you how to get where you are going. Even those of us who were directionally challenged before our brains went mushy are finding peace and happiness with GPS apps on our phones. It’s even helpful on the familiar routes to have a voice wake you from your daydream to say that your exit is coming up.
7. Relax knowing this isn’t dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are very different animals from the absent-mindedness that we call senior moments. A senior moment is when you think that Tuesday is Monday when Monday was a holiday. Dementia is when you walk around the block where you lived for 20 years and don’t remember which house is yours.
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