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Memory Aids We Can Use

by Matilda Charles

There may come a time when you can no longer immediately remember the 25 telephone numbers that used to be easily recalled. I suspect it comes to us all. When it does, it’s time to start making lists.

Having a cellphone is probably the easiest way to save all those numbers. The problem comes when the phone is on its charger and can’t be accessed. Written lists are a lifesaver then.

I made such a list for my father many years ago, not suspecting then that I would need the same type of list someday. I’d taped his list inside the cabinet door in his kitchen, the one right above the phone on the wall.

I now have a similar list taped to the inside of my own cabinet door, but in one other place as well: a slim piece of paper on the side of my computer monitor. Of the two, that’s the most handy because I’m often at the computer.

I’ve also made a list for the other side of the monitor of important dates with items such as inspection and new tags for the car and the next date to pick up a three-month batch of prescriptions at the pharmacy.

One thing that was helpful for my father years ago when he was very senior and using his first computer: I made him a notebook of instructions. In a three-ring binder I put pages with one instruction per page, with titles like How To Send E-mail, and I’d start each instruction with “Turn on the computer,” because that’s where his skill level was. Periodically, as his computer skills grew, he’d request additional instruction pages. It was a lot easier than trying to teach him by telephone.

Nowadays, if he were still living, I’m sure I’d be creating a How To Use The Cellphone notebook for him. I’d be happy to.