If you’ve found your memory has slowed down slightly in the last few years and you need a little help to remember things, there is an enormous range of products that can help. Whether it’s games, puzzles or apps to give your brain a workout, or prompts, reminders and locators so you can stay on top of appointments or lost items, there is plenty you can use to help with memory loss. Click on the links below to find out what can help.

Games & puzzles

Your dilemma:
You’re worried about your memory declining and want to keep your brain as sharp as possible, by playing games and doing puzzles.
Products to help
- Memory games
Doing a few memory games each day can keep your brain busy. This could be something as simple as trying to remember all the items on a tray or the sequence of figures in a very long number. Alternatively, there is a massive range of online games and apps that encourage you to use your memory.
- Puzzles
If you enjoy jigsaw puzzles, pick ones that have an interesting picture and are made from strong durable materials (plastic rather than cardboard). For a tougher challenge, you could try a 3D puzzle, Rubik’s Cube or maze puzzle. Don’t forget about word puzzles such as crosswords and wordsearch grids.
- Quizzes
Useful for helping with reminiscence, it’s possible to get quizzes that are themed to particular decades so you can think back to times that you will recognise and remember. This helps keep memories alive and your brain busy. You can choose quizzes about particular events in history, or they could involve specific music or theme tunes from the past.
These products help with…
Providing activities and games to keep you busy and help contribute to mental workouts and boosting memory abilities.
Tip
Put aside 10 minutes each day to do some brain training or memory games. You could keep a Sudoku or crossword book in the bathroom or a book in your bag for your morning commute.

Vitamins

Your dilemma
You want to keep yourself as healthy as possible and that includes ensuring your brain is in great shape.
Products to help
- Vitamins and supplements can be useful for helping to maintain overall health and wellbeing.
Good to know
There is some debate as to how much difference taking vitamins and supplements can take to preventing or slowing memory loss. However, numerous studies have found some links, and taking supplements can be useful for boosting general health anyway.

Reminiscence

Your dilemma
You enjoy thinking about old memories and days gone by, but need help to spark these memories off.
Products to help
- Theme tune CDs
Who doesn’t love playing ‘Guess the theme tune’? It’s possible to buy CDs or download albums of theme tune music which are ideal for sparking memories and encouraging conversation.
- Photo books and cards
Flicking through books containing old photos or reminiscence cards is great for helping you think back to days gone by. Pictures can be of anything from old adverts, toys or films to gadgets and products.
- Reminiscence games
Taking the reminiscence one step further, you can play games using quiz books that ask you to think back to certain events from history and try to remember facts about them.
These products help with
Reminding you of events in the past and sparking chats and conversation about them.
Good to know
Nestle is one of the first companies to provide free, vintage packaging labels and posters that carers can download and print off and attach to standard modern-day tins and chocolate bars to create a reminiscence larder full of classic foods such as Bird’s Custard, Condensed milk or Rowntree’s Fruit Gums, all in packaging from fifty years ago. Click here to find out more.

Locators

Your dilemma
You have a tendency to put items down and then forget where you left them, which means you spend a frantic 15 minutes rooting around trying to find it.
Products to help
- Object locator keyrings
These work by attaching a keyring to another item (often a set of keys, but it can be glasses if they’re attached to a string, or a wallet). The keyring can sound an alarm when a button on a locator device is pressed.
These products help with
Finding items that go missing regularly, and so avoiding wasting time spent looking for them.
Tip
Locator keyrings are great, but only if you make sure that the device that will trigger the locator alarms isn’t lost along with the items. Have a special place that you always leave the device so that you won’t need to worry about losing that too.

Signage

Your dilemma:
The person you care for struggles to find their way safely around the house, getting confused, frustrated and agitated. They want to know what’s going on and have all the information they need in a clear and obvious place.
Products to help:
- Room signs
Signs are a simple and easy way to help someone orientate themselves around the place that they live. Whether it’s a sign to show someone the way to the toilet or bathroom, or a label so that they know what kitchen items belong in which cupboard, they can be very useful if you’ve got memory loss.
- Orientation boards
These are general information boards, where you can write a list of important contact numbers, activities for the day, or generally anything that needs to be seen regularly. They’re often combined with a clock, so you can keep track of date and time as well as important information.
- Menu board
Help yourself stay on track of what meals you’re cooking and when with a menu board. They’re often divided up into meals and days of the week, and let you plan and remember what you’ll be eating that week.
These products are good for:
Aiding orientation and boosting independence. They can help prevent those who get lost easily from walking into rooms that they shouldn’t. They help you stay informed of what’s going on.
Top tip
Colour code your signs depending on which room they are in. So all signs relating to the kitchen should be red, while all signs relating to the bathroom can be blue.

Safety

Your dilemma
You're concerned about the safety of yourself or the person you care for as their memory problems can sometimes put them in harms way.
Products to help
- Identification
If you’re worried that the person you’re caring for may get confused while out and about and perhaps forget where they live, or who their carer is, then some identification can help. This could be in the form of ID bracelets or special cards, which explain that they have memory problems and who to call in an emergency.
- Bathing
Everyone’s been there when they suddenly realise they’ve left the tap running and the bath or sink is overflowing. To help prevent this, you can get flood alarms, water height monitors and anti-flood plugs. The first two will sound an alarm when a certain depth of water is detected, while the anti-flood plug starts to automatically drain water away once the pressure on it reaches a certain point.
- Gas and fire safety
If you have a gas-powered cooker (or any gas-powered piece of equipment), it’s vital that you place a carbon monoxide detector and alarm near the item. If it detects gas, it will sound an alarm. The same goes for fire and smoke alarms and all are vital but affordable additions to your house.
It’s also a good idea to keep mini extinguishers, fire blankets and cooker guards in the kitchen in case a forgotten pan sets on fire and needs to be put out quickly.
These products help with:
Ensuring safety is maintained at home.
Good to know
Many local fire services will provide you with a free smoke alarm and install it for you, so find out if it’s available near you.

Medication reminders

Your dilemma
You need to take a regular dose of medication, but often find you forget to take it.
Products to help
- Medication alarms
Setting a simple alarm is a good place to start if you have to remember to take medication. Many pillbox reminders come with an alarm that will sound to tell you that you need to take your next dose.
- Days of the week pill dispensers
You can divide your prescription up into separate containers within a days of the week pill dispenser to help you see whether you have taken your daily dose. Some also let you sub divide a day if you need to take a pill in the morning and evening.
- Electronic pillbox reminders
These are pill dispensers which let you set up an electronic alarm that sounds when you need to take a dose. Some can be set up as automatic pill dispensers, so will only reveal the dosage for that particular day or time and keep the other pills locked away.
These products help with
Maintaining your health and wellbeing by ensuring you don’t forget to take medication.
Good to know
Find out if your local pharmacy will decant the pills into the plastic cassettes in the automatic pill dispensers. Some will and some won’t – if they don’t, you’ll need to put the pills into it yourself.

Prompts and reminders

Your dilemma
You occasionally walk out the door without your keys, or need reminding about certain events.
Products to help
- Voice memos
These are useful for helping to remind someone to do something. They’re often movement activated, so when you walk past them, they’ll sound a recording. This could be something like ‘John, remember to take your keys if you go out’ or ‘Don’t forget your friend Jim, is coming to visit at 2pm today’. However, you can also get standard voice recorders or Dictaphones that record and play back memos as and when you need them.
- Clocks and watches
Radio controlled talking clocks are useful to help you remember the time and day of the week, especially if your eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be. It’s also possible to get watches that can speak the time, and that highlight what day of the week it is.
- Talking labels
Useful if you sometimes forget when you opened an item of food and want to make sure it’s not out of date, a talking label fixes to a product and you can then record a message with it, such as ‘John, you opened this tin on Monday 3rd July.’ Then you simply press the play button so you can hear the message next time you pick up the item.
These products help with
Ensuring that you stay on track with your daily life so that you don’t forget to do things.
Tip
An alternative to talking labels is to use simple methods of labelling, for example, sticky labels or rubber bands to illustrate what’s in the container or when it was opened.

Books and eBooks

Your dilemma
You want to boost your memory the old-fashioned way – through books.
Products to help
- Books
There is a wide range of books and eBooks that can help teach you methods to boost your memory abilities. Many contain puzzles and tasks that will help with cognitive function.
These products help with
Teaching you ways to build up your memory skills.
Good to know
Look out for books by the ‘king of memory boosting’ Tony Buzan, who’s written lots of books on the topic.

Apps

Your dilemma
You want to build up your memory skills and give your brain a workout, and are happy using mobile phone or tablet apps.
Products to help
- Luminosity
This app is a leading brain training and neuroscience research company with more than 60 million members. Founded in 2005 and launched in 2007, Lumosity offers more than 40 games that are designed to challenge core cognitive abilities. Lumosity’s games are based on neuroscience, with continuing independent third-party studies being conducted by researchers at academic institutions around the world.
- Fit Brains Trainer
Fit Brains is a brain-training program from Rosetta Stone, a language learning company used by millions of individuals around the world. The Fit Brains program offers balanced cognitive stimulation across six major brain areas, including: Focus, Memory, Speed, Logic, Visual and Language. The system automatically adapts to each user to offer personalised training at appropriate levels for each area of the brain.
- Happify
This app aims to train your brain to be happier by building your ability to conquer negative thoughts, show gratitude, cope with stress, and empathise — all essential ingredients for a fuller, happier life. Using fundamentals of positive psychology, which involves focusing on the strengths and virtues that enable individuals to create fulfilling lives, the app’s quizzes, polls and gratitude journal — combined with a positive community — gradually teach life-changing habits. The goal is to build these skills and keep users smiling all day.
These products help with
Training your brain and keeping it active while you’re on the go.
Good to know
Some apps are free while others you will have to pay for – check out what’s available in the Apple App store or Google Play store.