|Anna's Apartment Number Signage|
Anna's apartment number is B-53, a simple enough number, but one he can not memorize. I looked at ways to help him remember and finally hit on memory association.
Me: Anna, do you remember the famous bomber used by the Americans in the Cold War?
Me: Anna, do you remember the B-52 bomber?
Anna (brightening up): Yes! It was the aircraft that dropped a nuclear bomb on Bikini Island.
Me: Wow Anna! I didn't know that. Pause. Now all you have to remember is that your house number is one better than the B-52 bomber. You are in B-53.
And often, over the months, we have used this association for him to remember his address and that he is in Sheikh Sarai, Delhi. Three out of ten times when I ask him where he is he will say Delhi or Sheikh Sarai. The other seven times he thinks he is in Bangalore or Boston, or Fremont, or Washington, or London.
Then one morning this week....
Me: Anna, do you know where you are?
Anna (the master of hiding his disorientation): In a building.
Me: Yes, Anna. What is the address?
Anna (still hiding disorientation): It is a nice place. Well done-up.
Me: Yes, Anna. It is your house. What is the address?I get no response after asking him this question three times. So I decide to use the memory-association we have used in the past.
Me: Anna, do you remember that your flat number is one better than that of a famous bomber?
This does not jog his memory.
Me: Anna, do you remember the famous bomber from a long time ago?
Anna (looking confused): Yes. Pause. The Unabomber.
Yikes! He is thinking of a completely different bomber.
I definitely think I haven't got this memory-association thing right!