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The 8 types of strategies against memory loss

The 8 types of strategies against memory loss

June 20, 2024

Although not all people suffer, the worsening of memory and other types of cognitive impairment are common consequences of aging, especially when it is pathological.

In this article we will describe eight types of strategies against memory loss which can be very useful to compensate for the typical deterioration of the elderly. We will divide them into three categories: external aid, internal strategies and environmental adaptations.

  • Related article: "Types of memory: how memory stores the human brain?"

The decline of memory in old age

Scientific research suggests that we tend to overestimate the intensity of the worsening of memory that occurs in old age, although it is true that some capabilities are affected clearly. This happens especially in people with cognitive impairment, whether or not they are framed in the context of dementia.


According to studies, with aging, sensory memory suffers a slight deterioration that does not have great importance in practice. The working or operational memory itself is significantly affected , especially after 70 years; the deterioration in this type of memory is probably the most significant of all.

In terms of long-term memory, deficits appear more commonly in the declarative type than in the procedural memory, so that skills are usually maintained. Recent episodic memory, which includes the autobiographical memories of recent years, is more sensitive to deterioration than semantics (knowledge about facts).


These deteriorations have been attributed mainly to three reasons: the appearance of deficits in complex information coding , that makes memorization difficult, the worsening in the ability to recover memories and the less sensation of control in cognitive tasks, by which the expectations of efficacy of many elderly people decrease.

The memory losses that appear in old age can be compensated by the use of cognitive, behavioral and environmental strategies. In the cases in which the mnesic deterioration is light these techniques are usually sufficient to annul their effects; If the situation is more serious they can at least reduce the problems to a remarkable degree.

  • Related article: "Types of dementia: forms of cognition loss"

Strategies against memory loss based on external aid

The use of external aid for the recovery of memories is the most important strategy to compensate for memory losses that occur at advanced ages. Many people resort to these methods spontaneously.


1. External recovery

External recovery strategies include taking notes in a notebook or agenda, asking a nearby person to remind us of something or using digital devices (for example, programming an alarm with text) to facilitate the recall of specific information. Recent technological advances have increased the usefulness and diversity of these strategies.

2. Internal recovery

Unlike external recovery strategies, in these cases a signal is used that something has to be remembered, but it is not specified what ; changing a finger ring or making a small mark on your hand with a pen are two common external recovery techniques.

Internal or psychological strategies

Internal strategies to combat memory problems are based on the management of cognitions. They are considered the most specific intervention of Psychology in this field and are frequently included in training programs for elderly people with mnemonic deficits.

1. Naturally learned

This subcategory includes all the cognitive strategies that people naturally possess; they are part of the normal functioning of the memory and do not require prior training.

2. Mnemonic rules

The mnemonic rules are artificial cognitive methods that are used to promote learning , the organization and the memory of information. Some of the best-known mnemonic strategies include the loci method (or places), the hangers method, the link method and the rhymes method, which are based on words and / or mental images.

  • Related article: "The loci method, almost infallible to remember anything"

Adaptations and environmental indications

These strategies consist of facilitate orientation and the feeling of familiarity with the physical environment of the people who are in a certain place. In this sense we can speak both of the home itself and of a broader context, for example a residence for elderly people and even a locality.

1. Distales

The distal environmental indications are a type of adaptation that refers to the acclimatization of cities, streets or buildings to help people with memory problems to get their bearings. In this set of aids we find the indications on the doors on how to open them, the uniforms of the hospital staff, etc.

2. Proximals

Proximal supports are those that are framed in a more restricted environment, such as a room or a small floor. They are based on the principle that the structuring and stability of people's close environment With mnemic difficulties they make it easier for them to orient themselves and reduce the likelihood that they will have losses.

3. Personal

Personal environmental indications may be considered a type of external aid, and therefore may depend on internal or external recovery; This means that they can be explicit, such as leaving a note in a notebook, or simply functioning as signs that something concrete needs to be remembered.

4. Reality Orientation Therapy

Reality Orientation Therapy was created by James Folsom in the 1950s. This psychological program focuses on teaching skills that allow the patient maintain personal, spatial and temporal orientation . Among the strategies included include external visual aids, sensory stimulation and verbal repetition.


Memory Therapy (June 2024).


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