Short Story Memory Exercise

A Memory Exercise that is New Each Time You Do It.

About this Activity

A Memory Exercise that is New each time You do It

For Caregivers.

You write a short story, about four typewritten lines with lots of content, names, numbers, lists of items, places, etc.

When I do this exercise in the nursing home with a group of people, I read the story aloud twice and then ask lots of questions about the content. For example: "Who is the story about? What age is the person? What did they do? etc.

We have done this every week for some time now, and it is great to see the whole group sitting up in their seats, leaning forward and really concentrating when I read. Many of the residents taking part are a lot faster and more accurate in their recollection now than when we started doing this exercise some months ago, so it definitely shows that memory and concentration can be trained.

Sometimes I encourage the group to create the story.

I will ask them questions to trigger the content, like ‘give me two names,’ ‘what is their relationship to each other?’, where did they go yesterday’? ‘what did they do?’, ‘at what time?’ etc. When I have enough information, I write out the story and present it to the residents a few days later.

It makes for a good feeling when the group members have creative input into activities.

Here are a couple of short story examples:

Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Davies have been best friends for 40 years. They live in Greenhills Road in Washington. Their favorite pastimes are going for walks and gardening. Mrs. Davies has a large garden, and in it, they grow strawberries, carrots, peas, tomatoes, and melons. Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Davies make jams and preserves with their harvest.

Liam and Robert are cousins. Liam is 8 years old, and Robert is 9. Last Tuesday, they went with their Aunt Sally in her car to a riding school for their first lesson. It started at three o’clock. Liam’s horse was named Trotter, and Robert’s was named Patch. They enjoyed their ride and will come back next week.

Let your imagination run loose on this memory exercise!

- Maria

Thank you, Joy Fox, for the initial idea.

For more memory games, click here.