Free Memory Cafe Activity Helps Recall

Memory Joggers by Memory Cafe Directory

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First Volume Available! Science tells us recalling trivia or having our memories “jogged” reassembles fragments of recollections stored in multiple parts of the brain. Recalling a memory is like assembling the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. That sounds like the perfect Memory Cafe Activity!

When our brains are done with that memory, we put it back into memory, thereby strengthening it for the next recall! You can learn more about the science from The Human Memory.

Memory Joggers: Free Memory Cafe Activity

Memory Joggers is a free Memory Cafe activity we developed to help caregivers participate in an easy, fun, ENGAGING activity with those for whom they care. It is a set of common phrases to read aloud, asking the player to provide that last word.

Memory Cafe Directory is very pleased to offer Memory Joggers as a free Memory Cafe activity. It is fun and free, and easy to use with individuals living with dementia to exercise those gray cells!

Whether you care for a loved one living with early mild cognitive impairment or any of the dementias, you know first hand the gradual decline in mental acuity. Occasional forgetfulness to frequent disorientation – you’ve seen it all.

Declining mental acuity: challenging for everyone? Of course. Is it possible to help our loved ones put up a fight? Absolutely!

Jeopardy Board Game as Memory Cafe Activity

Available from Amazon

Trivia Spans Generations

Jeopardy originally aired in 1964. 1964! While it was off the air from 1975 to 1984, it’s been on the air ever since. Even the Jeopardy theme music gets hummed in our household when we are teasing a family member about how long something is taking!

Why is trivia fun? It’s challenging, competitive, and as we’ve already learned, it’s healthy!

How Memory Joggers Works

Memory Joggers by Memory Cafe DirectoryEach volume contains 20 Memory Joggers. Each phrase begins, leaving just the last word to be recalled. The reason we wanted to distill it down into the simplest format – one word – is due to the wide range of cognitive challenges people face.

If you happen to be working with a person or group with a higher cognition level, prompt them with fewer words, asking them to complete more of the phrase.

Another option is to speak the prompting words at the beginning of the phrase slowly, allowing them to complete it as soon as it comes to them.

Competition could be a good thing – in certain group conditions!

Memory Joggers Volume 1

With this announcement, we are sharing the first edition with you. Watch for future updates as we create new ones. You’ll see the contents of that edition, along with a link to the page where the entire library can be accessed.

We hope you enjoy Memory Joggers Volume 1:

  1. Easier said than… done
  2. Don’t judge a book by its… cover
  3. A penny for your… thoughts
  4. Time flies when you’re having… fun
  5. Actions speak louder than… words
  6. Up a creek without a… paddle
  7. Close, but no… cigar
  8. Don’t count your chickens before they… hatch
  9. Back to the drawing… board
  10. Best thing since sliced… bread
  11. The ball is in your… court
  12. Burn the midnight… oil
  13. Don’t put all your eggs in one… basket
  14. Fill in the… blank
  15. Every cloud has a silver… lining
  16. Think outside the… box
  17. At the drop of a… hat
  18. The best of both… worlds
  19. The bigger they are, the harder they… fall
  20. A blessing in… disguise

Download a PDF of these Memory Joggers here. Remember, it’s FREE!

Just the Start – More on the Way

We will be adding more soon. As each one is loaded, we’ll publish another post like this one and add to the centralized library. That will allow you to easily capture the latest version, or get all of them if you’re new.

Share with friends! The more who know about this free Memory Cafe activity, the more who can benefit from it.

Print each one, keep them in a file, and at some point, you can start again at the beginning. With the passage of time, even ones used previously will be beneficial since time has passed since the last recall experience.

Our pledge? We’ll keep publishing additional volumes as quickly as we can.

Why are we doing this… FOR FREE?

Exercise is important. We all hear how valuable it is for our bodies, so why not look for fun ways to allow our loved one’s brains to get a workout, too?

We’ve all had those moments where a certain taste takes us back to our childhood. We’ve heard that song we haven’t heard in years and it reminds us about the elementary school dance. And think about the challenge trying to come up with that actor’s name in that movie you love, and how good it feels when you finally “GET IT!”

These are all exercises for our brains!

This act of recalling important elements of our past forces our brains to dig deep – to pull that information out of deep storage. The more we do it, the better we get at it. The same is true for those for whom you care – help them exercise that deep memory and allow them to share in the fun (and the benefits!) That is important to us.

How to Use Memory Joggers

You decide. Every care situation is different, so tailor your use accordingly. Here’s a few short vignettes that should give you some ideas:

Memory Cafe Activity

If you’re reading this, you know we have a strong fondness for Memory Cafes. We even created this National Memory Cafe Directory! They are safe, enjoyable and very appropriate outings for caregivers and those for whom they care. Areas of focus range from music to crafts, and from food to animals. And much, much more!

With Memory Joggers, you have a wealth of activity “tools” at your disposal. For example:

  • Use as a “warm up” to get everyone’s attention
  • Use them quietly, asking one person at a time
  • Depending on the group, have some raucous fun and have them shout out the answer as it comes to them.

And of course, everything in between. Your usage should vary based on your unique situation.

Activity Directors

Professional Activity Directors are always looking for appropriate and engaging activities to offer to their residents in Assisted Living environments. There are many wonderful activities offered in Assisted Living environments.

Memory Joggers could become a very sought after regular activity in your daily schedule.

Dinner Table Conversation

Use Memory Joggers as a way to “talk through” a dinner. Eating can be a challenge for those with dementia – we all know that. This provides a way to get the person engaged at the table, and our hope is that engagement will include the healthy meal in front of them.

Get Yours Today

Remember, this is a FREE GIFT to you! Just download the PDFs. We have many more in the works, gathering and editing a wonderful variety just for you.

Be sure to watch for more volumes soon!

Our International Friends

We recognize the phrases contained in Memory Joggers are U.S.-centric. However, we are also quite proud that we have friends and followers from around the world. Please feel free to use Memory Joggers to any extent possible. Then, use what we publish to get creative and add your own phrases appropriate for your work in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and beyond. The phrases will be different, but the benefits are the same!

Contact us to include your geo-centric Memory Joggers!

Send Us Yours!

Speaking of future volumes, you can help us help you! We have many, but we absolutely don’t have them all. Think about the phrases you and your parents and your grandparents used to say. Please send them our way, and we’ll add them to future volumes.

Everyone contributes; everyone benefits.

Enjoy Memory Joggers! We hope you have as much fun and beneficial experiences using them, as we are having gathering them!

Tell your friends about Memory Cafe Directory!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mary Beth Riedner Dec 23, 2021, 11:09 am

    Here is another possible variation that would work best in a social situation. Type the first part of the phrase on a card and pass them out to the participants. Have them take turns reading their card out loud and then others could respond with the ending. This allows the participants to be an active part of the game in two ways – in both posing the question and supplying the answer. Many people with dementia can still read and they enjoy demonstrating this ability.

    • Memory Cafe Directory Dec 23, 2021, 3:53 pm

      I love this, Mary Beth! It’s a great idea for a deeper level of engagement in the activity. Thank you!

  • Memory Cafe Directory Dec 29, 2020, 1:31 pm

    Anne R.’s question is a good one. Before I provide an answer, I’d like to ask a question. I’m really glad Memory Joggers is considered to be of value. I get great feedback from a wide range of sources. My question: would a series of videos be of any value, that would allow the person living with early memory loss to enjoy the Memory Joggers experience on their own?

    Here’s a small answer to Anne’s question:

    I Googled “memory exercises dementia” and got a LOT of results. Although the link above says “ten” it appears it’s been updated. It now has 32 ideas for stimulating activities.


  • Anne R. Dec 24, 2020, 1:54 pm

    Do you have a site for those who HAVE memory loss to do the exercises themselves?

  • Kim Ely Nov 10, 2020, 6:13 pm

    I just found your site. I’m helping two people with memory problems. I’m little concerned on my own because I know it can run in the family . Thank you so much for this opportunity to learn more and to possibly slow down memory loss .