Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

Is It Possible To Improve Your Memory - And Remember More?

Human Memory Loss

Memory is one of the greatest gifts we have. Our experiences help shape who we are and influence the way we live our lives. Moments of forgetfulness are common, however, memory loss becomes a more pressing issue as you age. Is it forgetfulness? Age related memory loss? A symptom of a degenerative brain disease? There are so many questions - and fears - that go hand in hand with memory loss in later life. No one wants to lose memories they hold dear. That is why it is essential to hold onto your memory for as long as you can. Is it possible to improve your memory and remember more? It just may be.

Over the years, scientific researchers have studied how to improve memory as you age. Many of their findings have to do with changing up your routine and learning new skills. For instance, taking a different route to the store or picking up an instrument can challenge your brain, thereby keeping it active. Things like brainteasers, crossword puzzles, and memory games are other ways to keep your brain sharp...and even improve your ability to remember information, both old and new.

Another technique to improve memory has to do with songs. There are certain things you remember easily, like the lyrics to a classic tune or your ABC's. What do those things have in common? Music. It is a great way to retain information for longer periods of time and recall that information with ease. This dates back to ancient times, when people passed information through memory songs. The songs were used to share knowledge and increase the odds of survival. Pamela Morgan, a singer from Newfoundland, still believes in the power of memory songs. They were once used so Newfoundlanders could remember where the rocks were in the water. Now, they are being used to improve long-term memory.

Through brain activities like mental exercises and memory songs, it is possible to improve your memory.... but is it actually possible to remember more? Certain memory experts believe so. The idea is to change the way you think. One example? Instead of hearing information, try taking what you've heard, and visualizing it. Finding new ways to process information puts intention back into our thoughts.

According to Dave Farrow, the Guinness World Records holder for memorization, his life turned around when he realized that "memory is a skill." He believes that memory is not something we have or do not have, or even something we will lose. Rather, he believes that memory can be taught. So, instead of looking at your memory as something you have little control over, alter your perception. In order to remember more and truly maximize your brain, stay active and alert.

While degenerative brain diseases, like dementia or Alzheimer's disease may affect certain aspects of memory, all is not lost. It may be possible to improve your memory and remember more. By challenging our brains and changing the way we process information, our minds can become stronger, healthier, and retain more than we ever thought possible.

Dr. David Tal has more than twenty years of clinical experience. He strongly believes that medical treatment can improve the life of Alzheimer's and memory loss patients.