It is estimated that around 35 million people in the world today have some type of dementia or memory problems, a figure that doubles every 20 years, projected at 135 million by 2050, according to the WHO. For this reason, and in favor of the well-being of the elderly, who are the most exposed to this type of disease, Paola Suárez Pico, clinical psychologist, master in clinical neuropsychology and teacher at the Konrad Lorenz University Foundation, delivers some easy exercises to do that will help strengthen memory:
1- To work on visual memory, it is highly recommended to use several photos with the faces of well-known people. Assign a name under each face, ask the person to observe them and, in a new photo, the patients can identify which name each face belongs to. The idea is that in that first moment the patient learns that information and then is asked about it.
2- An exercise that requires further elaboration is the creation of a list of markets in which each of the products varies depending on the day. That is, if it is Saturday, the list is made up of a certain number of objects, then another day is assigned to it, it can be Sunday, and that list must have different purchase items from the first list. Then the patient is asked to identify and indicate to which day each item on the market list was assigned in a list containing all the items for purchase, in the front column. The idea is to cover the lists and go to the effort of remembering. It is important that at the beginning the instruction is given to try to memorize each item on the list.
3- This exercise can be done with animals, objects, means of transport. Say, if you do it with animals, you make a list of 15 or more species. And then categories with characteristics are created, for example, a row for water animals, another for those with feathers, one more for carnivores, etc. After that, the patient must classify in each column and answer without looking at the list, questions such as: which animal flies ?, which animal has feathers ?, etc. What these questions seek is for the patient to use his visual memory.
4- Another exercise of this type of memory is to put the patient in front of a row of several geometric figures in different colors and to observe them carefully. After that, the person, with the figures covered, must identify to which shape each color was assigned. The instruction should be from the beginning, that the patient tries to memorize each figure with all the characteristics, size, shape and color.
5- The last exercise is of phonological association or of pairs of words associated by sound. 10 pairs of words are made, in which each pair must end with the same sound. For example, light bulb and coconut. So with each pair until all ten are completed. Then, the patient is asked to memorize the words that make up each pair. After this, the person must write what is the missing word according to each sound pair. Here the auditory memory comes into play.