Curiosity Engages Your Brain

One of the things that fascinates me is to observe some of the choices those with good memory skills later in life have made. An older gentleman who had just celebrated his 85th birthday attended one of my Memory Fitness Matters programs to see if there was something else he could learn.  One thing he did on a regular basis was to go to the library once a week for several hours. He would look up information on something he knew very little about and would then share the information with some of his friends.

Children are always asking questions and that curiosity can be refreshing.  What has happened to yours? Sometimes we just listen and accept information without checking it out. How often do you ask questions so you can learn more about a person? One of my friends enjoys keeping up on political issues so she can be well informed when discussions come up on a variety of current topics. Several other friends have a wide range of interests and I look forward to what they will share when we get together. I always learn something new and sometimes it raises my curiosity to learn more about a particular topic.

Working with my dementia patients I began to add a new activity recently with great success. I have several books that have a paragraph or two about customs or the history behind things we recall from our past. Not only did they enjoy the story but at times it stimulated more conversation as memories were recalled.  Last week we discovered the tradition behind carrying a bride over the threshold, the history behind some popular games, and much more. Even the family members participating in the sessions learned something new about their loved one.

Notice how often you ask questions and show interest in what another person is saying. Instead of focusing your mind on something else, pay attention, practice good listening and make an inquiry. Learn something new about that person. Look up something you have an interest in and then share what you learned with someone else.

“Curiosity is as much the parent of attention,
as attention is of memory.”
Richard Whately

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About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters ( and Communication Connection( She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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