I have been worried about dementia since my sixties.
At 75 I found I was losing keys, couldn’t remember the names of books, authors and people, constantly mislaid things and couldn’t remember places or events.
If I was this bad at 75 – what would I be like if I lived to 100?
Much of the information on-line was disturbing. Until I came across the Memory Foundation.
To my great relief, I discovered tips and techniques for dealing with memory loss.
FOCUS became my mantra:
Every time I put my keys down I told myself to focus, which meant looking hard and long at where I’d put them.
With each book I read, I focused on the title, and the author, and thought about the book I’d finished reading
On meeting people. I focused on the name and face.
I found my memory was slowly beginning to function again.
And then ….
I decided to enrol in a MOOCS Art History course– something I’d wanted to do for some time.
There was so much to learn, so many new skills to acquire, so many new ways of looking at paintings, art and history. So many assignments. Several times I felt ready to give up!
To my amazement, I persevered and found the final test easier than I’d imagined.
And gained considerable confidence in the process.
Now I was ready to learn cryptic crosswords.
All I needed was to focus on the conventions – and suddenly they weren’t so hard after all. (I sometimes need help though.)
My next step was to study a little Gaelic to prepare for a trip to Ireland.
And now I am learning French. Which is sometimes infuriating, but mostly fun.
I now believe that anything is possible – if we put our minds to it.
All thanks to you, Gillian, and the Memory Foundation
Barbara Macdonald, Otaki Forks.
Thank you, Barbara, for this inspiring story! We all need encouragement and this one strategy has made a huge difference to Barbara’s life.
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