This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Changes in Memory After TBI. Dr. Allison Clark discusses Developing Awareness of Memory Issues.

People can be very frustrated with their memory problems or not see any value in using this compensatory strategy and sometimes people are just not aware that they’re having a memory problem. So if they’re not aware that they’re having a memory problem then they may see no value or no meaning in using a strategy. So one of the first things that we try to do is to increase people’s awareness of when they’re having a memory problem.

So, so what we may do in talking with the person with injury and the family, you know if the, if the person with injury is not very aware of their memory problems you know we may ask a family member to tell us what they have noticed. And so they may tell us that this person repeats questions a lot and that may be because they’re forgetting they’ve asked the question, they forgot the answer. They’re repeating questions a lot, they can’t find where they put their stuff.

They’re not remembering important things I told them you know, yesterday, or they’re forgetting to do important things. They’re forgetting that we had this party that we had to go to, a family party we had to go to on Saturday. And so we’ll take those examples and we’ll kind of try to put them into some categories for people so it may be like okay repeating questions, forgetting things that are coming up in the future, or forgetting things that have recently happened.

And then we’ll ask them and their family member to track when they forgot. So kind of make a little checkmark, make a little note about what the situation was, what exactly did they forget and then we can review that together and so they can see some, some data, some information about kind of when it was that they forgot something and then talk to them about how, is this something that they’d be willing to work on?

And how that, them being more independent with this memory, again can help them participate in things that are important for them.

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