Short-Term Memory Problems
For some, a concussion can cause some short-term memory problems. This means that it can be hard to remember the details of an event and hold information in your mind to remember a short time later. This is usually because the injured person may have symptoms which affect their ability to concentrate and stay focused. Information may be more difficult to grasp right now, but you shouldn’t have trouble remembering familiar routines, places, or people, and memories from long ago. Long-term memory is not usually affected by brain injury.
Some examples of short-term memory problems include:
- Remembering things you need to do (appointments, errands, tasks)
- Remembering detailed information from one moment to the next (being able to “hold” information in your brain, eg. looking up a phone number, then dialing it)
- Misplacing items
- Remembering the details of a conversation
- Remembering things that happen when you are tired, rushed, or overwhelmed.
- Do what you can to help your brain work well: get enough rest, don’t take on more than you can manage, and give yourself time to focus.
- Use post-it notes to put reminders up around your home in easy to see places, like the bathroom mirror or the front door.
- Use a calendar, day planner, or smart phone (if you already use one – now is not the time to learn how) to keep track of appointments and activities
- Designate a place you always keep important items, like your keys or wallet.
- Let others know you are having some memory trouble and ask them to help remind you of upcoming events
- Make “To Do” lists or jot things down in a notebook
- Develop routines and stick to them
- If you have to learn a new activity, pair it with one you already do (Eg. Take a new medication when you brush your teeth before bed)
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