Brain injuries can radically impact your quality of life. One of the areas that can be most affected by a traumatic brain injury is memory. Conversely, memory is a critical function for daily life.
“Memory is your brain taking in, keeping, recalling and using information,” says BrainLine. “A brain injury can affect any of these areas of memory. A brain injury can also make it hard to learn and remember things.”
If your memory has been damaged as a result of a brain injury, or a brain injury has exacerbated existing memory problems, how do you recover what was lost?
Here are three steps to strengthen your memory after a traumatic brain injury.
1. Write it all down
For some, this means keeping a journal or calendar and writing down detailed descriptions to help them throughout the day. For others, this is simply writing cues or prompts to help them remember tasks or objectives. It is helpful, however, to have all of your prompts concentrated in one place to guard against loss.
Other ways to use writing to help you throughout the day are creating checklists, labelling items in shared spaces, making ‘cheat sheets’ for your wallet or cue cards for where items are located.
2. Make smart purchases
If you take medication, a pill organizer can be hugely helpful for those with memory problems. Purchasing appliances that shut off automatically can be helpful to ensuring home safety. If you’re opening a bank account, specify automatic bill payment or authorize a protective payee on your behalf.
3. Use PQRST
PQRST is a technique to help attain and retain information. First, preview the material, casually reading it over to understand what it is about. Second, question it by making a list of queries that you need answered to fully grasp the subject. Third, read! Read the material over again carefully, referring back to the questions list you generated. Fourth, state it in your own words. This could be out loud or on paper. Would you be able to
teach someone this material? Fifth, and finally, test yourself or ask someone else to test you. Repeat as necessary until you are confident you have fully retained the information.
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