Memory tips and aids

Do you experience memory problems? Do you have any hints and tips for helping with your memory?

We're writing an article about memory aids in the next issue of The Parkinson magazine, and we’d like to feature your handy hints. It could be reminders to help you take your medication on time, or ways to remember plans with friends - whatever it is we’d love to hear from you!

Please feel free to leave your comments here, or email [email protected].


Hi Alex

Some don't realise just how much your train of thought is effected when you have Parkinsons, I have to write everything down ie appointments in a diary and on a calendar  I have to check every day in case I miss anything. I have a timer to remind me when my medication is due, along with a gentle reminder from my OH ! I also write down the list of shopping I need at the end of the week, I start it on a Monday and add to it through the week as I remember things I need. I think calendars and diaries are my god send.


My Mum used to have a system to ensure she never forgot her medication.

Meds bottle on her bedside table for the first dose of the day at 6am. She then put the bottle on her Rutland trolley that was wheeled through to the kitchen. The trolley was moved into the lounge with her morning coffee and 2nd dose of the day at 11am.Then the bottle was placed in the kitchen on the counter ready for the 4pm dose when she got herself a cup of tea. Bottle on the lower level of the trolley - and the last dose of the day at 8pm. She then put it on the upper level and wheeled it into her bedroom when she went to bed and put the bottle on her bedside table.

Never seemed the most reliable method to me - but it worked for her!! She never forgot and the position of the bottle told her if she had taken her meds or not!


Another thing I just remembered!

Mum spent time playing memory games, and challenged herself to remember lists of things to keep her memory active.


I also have my meds in a box with Monday to Friday written on and the amount of tablets I have to take each day!!



i was responsible for OH`s meds.  I bought a parking reminder and set it for four hours each time he had a dose and so it beeped when the next one was due.  I got the reminder on line and it was less than £5 battery included.



I bought a day pill box too keep it Simple, it is divided into 4 sections not only as a timer but also too see Physically that i had taken those pills, no more have i or haven't i?. Writing  is a struggle Note things down and done as they come to mind in 'Note pad' on the lap top before i forget them.

Having Lewy Body and not being ready to go down the usual memory exercise route of sing songs and such like I'm not sixty yet and don't feel "old", I spend my weekends teaching two young lads with learning dificulty basic hands on engineering and automotive principles , one is eight the other nine by the way, they spend 3-4 hours Saturday and Sunday in my workshop learning how engines work and how structures are built , passing on forty five years of experience to them keeps my brain active and my memory alive , I include practical maths physics science and reading writing so my own mind is stretched to its max ,one lad is now in Main Stream education for the first time and the other now attends classes with other pupils as he is no longer disruptive , so every one benifits

What an uplifting  story Cheshire Cat..  Did you just happen to come across these lads?.  Or did you volunteer at the local school?  I was a primary school teacher and I can't imagine a better way to anchor the wayward if you see what I mean.  With a lot of boys the learning difficulty is actually  the conventional school approach to learning whereas your workshop represents the exciting real world they cant wait to be part of...

Hi Eileenpatricia

The younger lad is a grand nephew the other his friend , they showed an interest in engines when I was repairing my brothers car outside his house and wanted to help, as boys do , 

I said I would teach them how to fix and make things but if they wanted to come into my workshop there were rules they must follow , eg no throwing things no running around do what they're told strait away and were shown how to use the health and safety equipment , in return they get to take engines apart and rebuild them, and get them running as that gives them a great sense of achievement . The older one has even learnt to use a welder and between us all we repaired an old car got it MOTed and sold it , they had to work out what the car cost to buy and repair then the profit was split between them ,  the car was sold to a family member who was well aware of its history , 

Both lads behaviour has changed for the better both at home and at school , in the workshop I encourage them to have opinions and ideas I talk to them as adults and they respect when I say no to something as I fully explain why  we all have fun with what we do and I hope with the support of there parents and my brothers I can continue to help them for a few more years , they in return keep me young and mentally alert and active,

   Live well.  Cc


Good on You CC

 in the past in Angling ive taught young lads when they've shown a interest in Angling knots, rigs and watercraft and then watched them progress and blossom into great little Anglers

Thanks Cheshire Cat for the full story.


Hi Cc.... great way of keeping that grey matter working, and also giving the young lads something beneficial to do in there spare time


Thanks everyone for your great comments - they are really helpful! I'll be in touch about what we'll feature in the mag.

I have post it notes above the recycling bins, and in many other areas of our home, not that it makes any difference, but this may hopefully help others.

We have had a pill timer for years and it worked well, BUT, what do you do when OH switches it off and still does not take their medication???   They switch it off , sometimes take out the pill and put it elsewhere; it could be by the    sink, on the table, or anywhere!! It's only by their symptoms  that I know that it has not been taken when they say that have taken it.

As they take meds, every two and a half hours it leaves me little time to be out of the home to do shopping or anything at all! Fine if you can manage a pill timer but when PWP can't   do this due to memory problems then what does anyone suggest as a solution??

If I am out at pill taking time, I phone home to remind them but not even that ensures they they do take their medication.

The alarm on my hubby's mobile phone is a gosend. I've set it for to go off each time meds are due. Most of us have our mobile on us all the time! 


My husband uses a tablet timer which beeps when his medication is due although he sometimes still forgets to take them if he becomes distracted by doing other things at the time, so I remind him. His memory was also getting worse and he would ask me to repeat things constantly.   I read an article about a test which was done on three groups of people to test their memory. None of them had Parkinson's but each group was shown a number of items at the beginning and then split into separate rooms. One group went to a room which had Lavender oil fragrance, another group had Rosemary oil and the third group nothing at all.

Afterwards, the group who had been given the Rosemary oil remembered most of the test items whereas the other two groups didn't. They said it could have applications in other areas but they needed to test it further.  I decided to try this at home to see if it would improve my husband's memory. It was recommended to use an oil burner but thought this was a bit risky so I bought some reed diffuser sticks and poured some rosemary oil in a glass bottle. After one week my husband's memory seemed to improve a little and now after 5 weeks it really seems to have made a difference. He no longer asks me to repeat things as much as he used to and he remembers things from the previous day which he wouldn't usually do. It might not work with everyone but it might be worth trying?

I also bought a 6 x 5" photo frame and I wrote a list of his medication times and whether to take them with or after food and put the list in the frame and left it by the kettle so he can refer to it every morning and he finds this very useful too.