|by Catherine Myers
How good are you at remembering the future?
Normally we think of memory as the ability to call to mind things
that happened in the past. But another important kind of memory
has to do with things that haven't happened yet, like remembering
to take your medication in the morning or to mail your grandchild’s
birthday card on Friday. This kind of memory is called prospective
memory. It requires not only remembering what needs to be done,
but also remembering it at the right time.
So how can you help your brain remember the future?’
For tasks that you have to remember on a certain day, the best
advice is to use a calendar, scheduler or to-do list. Fill in
what you need to do during the week, and check the list several
times a day. That way, you'll remember on Wednesday that you
need to call the doctor, and you'll remember on Friday that
you need to mail the card.
But what about daily chores, things that you have to do at a
certain time each day? Here you can help yourself out by using
If you have to take your medication at breakfast time, then
put the pill bottle in the cabinet in front of your cereal or
coffee. This way, you can't get at your breakfast foods without
seeing the pills, which will remind you to take the medication.
If you have to remember to take the trash out each night, put
a small note that says "trash" on your pillow when
you make the bed in the morning.
Over time, as you get into the habit of taking your medication
each morning, and taking out the trash each night, you may find
that you don't need to leave yourself visual reminders. The
habit will become ingrained, and you'll find you can remember
the future with little effort at all.
-- Copyright © 2008Memory Loss and the Brain