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Categories, diversity, and relevance of memory strategies reported by community-dwelling seniors

  • Marie-Michèle Haché (a1), Maxime Lussier (a2), Manon Parisien (a1), Francis Langlois (a3) and Nathalie Bier (a2)...
Abstract
Background:

Memory strategies help seniors remember information that is essential for the performance of their daily activities and contribute to their independence in the context of declining memory skills. This study aimed to analyze the categories, the diversity, and relevance of memory strategies known by seniors, and to identify individual characteristics that correlated with these variables.

Methods:

The sample consisted of 294 participants aged 60 and over who decided to take part in a cognitive vitality promotion program. An adapted version of the memory situation questionnaire (Troyer, 2001) was administered to identify the memory strategies that seniors would use in five daily life situations. A scoring grid, also adapted from the questionnaire's original version (Troyer, 2001), was used to quantify the relevance of the strategies that were reported by participants.

Results:

All participants mentioned at least once that they would use a strategy from the physical category of memory strategies. Out of a possible range of 26 strategies, participants answered an average of 6.14 (SD = 1.7) different answers across the five situations. Based on expert consensus, 67.7% of the mentioned memory strategies were relevant. Diversity and relevance were significantly higher when trying to remember appointments, things to bring or phone numbers (p ≤ 0.05). The level of education, cognitive skills, and participation in leisure activities were related to diversity and relevance of reported strategies.

Conclusions:

Seniors know various and relevant memory strategies to perform daily activities. The advantages of integrating strategies that they already know in cognitive health promotion programs should be considered in further studies.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Nathalie Bier, Associate Professor, School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, P.O. Box 6128, Station Centre-ville, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7, Canada. Phone: +1-514-343-6564; Fax: +1-514-343-2105. Email: nathalie.bier@umontreal.ca.
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