According to Aging Today, the program “recognizes replicable research-based programs, products or tools that promote cognitive fitness in later life in three categories: educational programs that enhance mental fitness for older adults in the general population, programs designed for cognitively impaired elders and lifelong learning programs with an implicit element of mental fitness.”
One winner was TimeSlips, “a creative storytelling method that helps people with dementia reaffirm their humanity and connect with staff, family and friends.” TimeSlips encourages people to cultivate their imaginations and it has been found to improve verbal skills. The stories that emerge ”are rich in humor and poetic images, and provide a window into the experience of living with dementia.”
Lifehacker lists the Top Ten Tricks and Tools to Exercise and Better Your Brain and number five is Tell Yourself Stories.
First of all, it makes things easier to remember because it puts what you want to remember in a more compelling framework. It gives you a chance to focus on important details and associate emotion with what you’re trying to remember. Even if you’re not telling yourself a story to help retain the information, you’ll still improve your memory just by telling stories in general.
About.com even has a long list of tips for telling stories To Strengthen Relationships and Exercise Your Brain (see details at their website):
- Get excited
- Make it Short
- Lots of Details
- Use Emotions
- Have Characters
- Don’t Think It Isn’t Interesting
How are you using stories to keep your mind active and alert?