Though not all symptoms of age-associated memory loss can be prevented, these simple memory improvement tips can help you overcome some of the most common, and annoying, memory lapses.

  1. Place important items in a designated spot—When you're not using your keys or wearing your eyeglasses, always put them in the same place. You'll never have to ask where they are again!
  2. Make lists—The act of writing actually helps reinforce the importance of information. Jot down important phone numbers and names, and keep a to-do list posted in an accessible place.
  3. Repeat important information out loud—Just as with writing, saying new names, phone numbers and other vital info (such as, "I just turned on the front burner") helps your brain recall them more easily.
  4. Catch some Zs—Studies show that people are able to remember newly learned information the next day if they get a good night's sleep. Sleep appears to help the brain consolidate and store memories.
  5. Concentrate—If you're being presented with important facts and you're concerned you may not remember them, simply tell yourself, "this is important," and your brain will be more likely to hold the info where you can access it.
  6. Embrace a Mediterranean diet—An eating plan that emphasizes fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and fish in favor of red meat is associated with a 40 to 60 percent decrease in the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a progressive form of dementia. A Mediterranean diet supports a healthy cardiovascular system by limiting the saturated fats that can clog arteries and prevent the healthy flow of blood.
  7. Get active—Studies of older adults demonstrate that those who get the most exercise exhibit the highest cognitive function, while those who exercise least are at increased risk for dementia. Exercise promotes healthy circulation, providing the brain with the blood it needs to function properly. Your target should be 30 minutes of brisk exercise, such as walking, at least five times per week.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 27 Jan 2011

Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015