Are you nearing 75 or 80? And driving?
I did not do well in the Drs word list memory test!! (from a reader.)
Cognitive skills are critical to driving because your brain is required to process so many different pieces of information at once – what you can see and hear, emotions you are experiencing while driving, the feel you have for road surfaces, they way your car is performing, other traffic on the road ….. your working memory is in full swing.
At key ages in New Zealand, you will be completing a range of face-to-face tests at your medical centre.
Here’s how to get ready for that test.
You can practice for one of them – remembering a list of words:
This is an exercise you can practice with groups of random words at home, too. Give yourself 30 seconds to study a list of 10 or 12 words. turn over the page and see how many you can recall – write down or say out loud. Start with 6 and work up to a longer list. You will see how much you improve with practice!
p.s. On the video, you will see us referred to as the Brain and Memory Foundation – that was our full name until we were able to shorten it to Memory Foundation (and Brainfit® for Life). It is still us!
The Memory Tune course, written by Dr Allison Lamont and Gillian Eadie, takes you through, step-by-step, many other kinds of brain skills that will sharpen your cognition and memory skills. Thousands of people have now used this tried and tested course. It comes to you over seven weeks and is accompanied by a print version, also.
$169.00 for the full course and book.
“Thank you both so much for this course which has given me the confidence and the tools to deal with my memory problems. I now enjoy puzzles, crosswords and memory tests.. I used to avoid them like the plague. Meeting people and remembering their names is now a pleasant experience rather than a nightmare! You have shone a light at the end of what was fast becoming a very dark tunnel. Thank you.” Maria G.
Will you share your experiences with this cognition test? Your story will be helpful for others ….
Well that was interesting and I definitely need to practice the memory word game. It stated seven words as normal! I got four for a start. Dismayed at my attempt I have now started practising with earnest and am doing much better.
Thanks for the ongoing support Gillian and Dr Allison. I look forward to the Brainfit article every month. For me it is the non judgemental encouragement and promise of change I find so uplifting.
I read with extreme interest that it takes 8 weeks over 15 hours to change a habit. Therefore, could you help me with this irritating little habit please. It is a “four-letter” word “ BAGS”. It has been introduced to the nation within the last year and is very irritating.
90% of the time I walk into our local supermarket without my bags. I was getting so concerned I asked the woman on the counter did this happen a lot. I was relieved and I must say delighted to hear her answer with raised eyes “All the time”. (It made me wonder if we all need to exercise living in the present a little more)! Keys I can do, shutting the garage door I can do, but this has become very challenging . I say Bags before I leave the house, as I get into the car and then climb out of the car and head into the supermarket.
I am sure it could be cured with one cognitive approach, hence my inquiry.
I love your story, Mary! And you are definitely not alone in this – I am sure the supermarkets have a roaring trade in their new, non-plastic bags for sale. Once you arrive at the supermarket, try pausing before you get out of the car and bring to mind the items you are going to buy. As you think about your shopping list, visualise putting the items into the bags. Then the memory trace to ‘Bags’ will be activated! (that’s the theory, anyway.) Try it a few times and let us know how you get on??
Thanks for the advice Gillian. What came through loud and clear to me in your response is to maybe slow down. I sensed it in your words . Words like arrive, pause, bring to mind, think and visualise. I surprisingly felt very soothed and realised life does not have to be one big rush does it.
With reference to the 12 words. I was appalled at my initial result but saw it as the beginning of my story not the end. . That evening after going over it several times I got to 11. The amusing thing is that every time, “kettle” evaded me. I mean “Polly put the kettle on”? Who in my generation would forget Polly and her kettle!
The next evening I remembered the letters again and without hesitation they just flowed on to the paper except for the last two, which I had to really think about and yes Polly’s kettle was one! So I felt really encouraged by that lesson.
From this experience I discovered another little obstacle to my learning. This little friend sits on my shoulder. The Monkey’s name is procrastination. (crassie for short). We go back a long way and I am very aware I can be left chasing my tail, all because of Crassie. I have firmly made a decision that next Monday afternoon that all changes and I will slot in times for the health of my brain. ( A little more of procrastination I know, but Crassie would not like it if I went cold turkey)!
Practice does make progress and to prove this:-
Piano ball radio student castle daffodil raspberry hammock pole horse dragon kettle . And I will include one more Empower.
I think your friend Crassie visits quite a few other people as well! It’s one of the ways in which the brain lets us down as the years go by. Hand-in-hand with too many distractions to take our attention away from the task needing to be completed. Well done on the word list!!
Gillian just to let you and the readers know how I got on with my supermarket bags. I have been shopping twice since then and both times have remembered to get the bags out of the car. Thrilled of course, but very strange how that could happen immediately after my correspondence.
Was it because of my long-winded correspondence to you?. Was it your suggestions that I mulled over, or was it due to spending some time reading and recalling those 12 words, Maybe it was a combo. ???
I also started my brain health “discipline” yesterday afternoon. Gone is the cuppa with this exercise, after your remark above, “too many distractions to take our attention away from the task needing to be completed”
So onward and upwards really.
What a wonderful success story, Mary! A perfect example of actually applying a simple strategy – your progress gives an excellent picture of how others can follow the steps as well. Keep up this great work!
We put our (non-plastic) shopping bags back in the car when back home after the groceries are emptied.
That’s an excellent routine to put in place! Well done ….
I always look forward to these emails. Challenge, fun and learning within!
Thank you! I love feedback like this!
I really enjoy your emails, and look forward to receiving them.
This time I am practising the challenges.
Practice is everything! Did you know that it takes about 15 hours over at least two months to develop a new habit – that’s a long time! I’m so glad you enjoy our newsletters.
Tried your memory list and was thrilled that I remembered seven of the list. Looked again and next time got all 12. I’ve been working with your methods for over a year so it really does work.
What a wonderful achievement! It is so exciting for us to know that you’ve mastered this skill and that it is changing the way you recall. Congratulations!!!
Gillian, Could you please send more word lists. I really need practice with remembering the list of words.
Of course! And this is a simple task you can create for yourself, also. Write 7 – 10 words on a piece of paper and leave them for a while. Then study them for 30 seconds (or have someone read them to you, with a few seconds between each word), turn the page over, then say out loud all of the words you can recall. The more you practise, the greater the improvement! You will find some other videos on this page that exercise your short-term memory. https://www.brainfit.world/memory-skills-practice/ Have fun!