The Caregiver's Journey

5W Strategy

Therapists may also teach the 5W strategy to help your service member/veteran learn more efficiently. Learning in the face of a short-term memory deficit can be challenging. This technique will help as it allows the person to save time. Instead of reading information over and over again, the person is taught to focus and pick out the main points of what he or she is reading.

Read and Remember:

  • Who 
  • What 
  • Where
  • When 
  • Why

Why 5W Strategy Works:

Writing out or saying something out loud reinforces accurate memory. The 5W strategy also simplifies the information so main points can be recalled.

Your service member/veteran may have difficulty at first but practice helps.

Example of the 5W strategy:

Making/taking a message — write down all 5 points (Ws) of the message

  • Who: Mom
  • What: Call about lunch
  • Where: Meet at our favorite restaurant
  • When: Friday at noon
  • Why: To talk about vacation plans