As we age and grow, we expect to feel many changes in different aspects of our bodies. Short-term memory, memory gap, and memory loss is a common complaint among older people. It happens due to the decreased blood flow to the brain, which can impair memory and lead to cognitive skills changing.
To prevent the progression of cognitive diseases, seniors can boost their memory health by prioritizing their diet, physical activity, and sleep. Here are tips on how you can retain and improve your memory.
Habit of Memorization
You can improve your memory by constantly exercising your brain through memorization. To memorize, you need to encode the information by connecting it through physical feeling, image, or sound.
You can do it by simply creating a list, for example, a grocery list. You can recite some items each day. You can also try to memorize popular songs that you like; this activity can also be utilized as a stress reliever. Moreover, it is an excellent way to enhance your cognitive skill.
Play Mind Games
Research has shown that older people like to play mind games. Like muscles, the brain can become stronger through mind games. Some games that seniors enjoy playing are Sudoku, Scrabble, and Chess. Card games also encourage you to think and calculate. It can make them sharp ten times longer than on average. Keep your mind active by engaging in new challenges. This way, you can keep your memory strong.
Learn Something New
Reading a book or a newspaper would allow one to acquire new knowledge and stimulate the brain. It is also a healthy type of habit for everyone, including youths. Moreover, adults can also take sensory tests because they make new connections in the brain and refresh old ones.
With all the different reading materials available through digital access, you can still incorporate reading into your routine. This way, you can learn new things and tune your memory bank.
Practicing socialization or having social interaction and maintaining connections will keep your mind busy throughout the day. Sharing your thoughts and reflections with someone will also keep your spirit high. Fortunately, you can catch up with your loved ones through the use of technology. Additionally, there are memory care assisted living facilities to help them with their hobbies. Social engagements, such as group exercise and journal writing, can boost their mental health.
Stress Mitigation and Meditation
It can be challenging to let go of our inner thoughts, anxieties, and worries in life. However, with the help of exercise, meditations, and proper diets, you can take control of your stress and emotions. It is healthy because older adults tend to feel lonelier and depressed as they age.
There are treatments and therapies to make you feel at ease, reduce stress, and help you ward off depression and other mental health issues.
Another thing you can do is to meditate. It helps you focus your mind and increase blood flow in the brain. Meditation does not only improve your memory; it also helps in lowering your stress.
Sometimes, you think of many things that can hinder your sleeping. However, getting enough sleep should be a top priority because it may solidify your memory skills. Recent studies suggest that proper sleep can strengthen connections between brain cells.
Moreover, when a person is deprived of sufficient sleep, they cannot function and think the following day. It is more advisable for seniors to acquire adequate sleep for at least six to nine hours. Also, don’t forget to take a nap during the daytime because it can improve cognitive performance.
Diet and Nutrition
No matter what your current age is, it is essential to have a good diet and nutrition. It is true that “You are what you eat.” According to recent studies, you need to avoid foods with high saturation and fats because they contain bad cholesterol resulting in damage inside your brain. Diabetes and high blood pressure can also contribute to the advancement of memory loss. Seniors should eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods to prevent blood vessels from getting clogged or damaged and reduce memory loss and stroke risk.
If you wish to be mentally fit, you should also keep active and maintain your fitness. As the saying goes, “Healthy body means a healthy mind.” There are various exercises to boost and strengthen the mind and body. Doing exercise boosts oxygen to our brain and releases beneficial brain chemicals that help us stay sharp.
Besides, engaging in physical activities can aid stress and promote a night of good sleep. Studies also show that aerobic exercises and resistance training can increase brain power and improve memory for people over 50.
As we get older, we get tons of different sicknesses that might affect our health. If you spot some cognitive issues, it is wiser to ask for professional help from your doctor. Some of the possible and usual diseases for older adults are the following:
- Thyroid problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Heart disease
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- HIV infection
- Benign brain tumors
- Cancerous brain tumors
Besides, many medicines can actively hinder memory. For instance, certain seniors may have bouts of forgetfulness during conversations when they take:
- Muscle relaxants
- Medicine for anxiety
- After surgery pain meds
- Sleep aids
- Statins (to lower cholesterol)
- Antihistamines/cold medicine
- Anticholinergic drugs
Improve Your Memory through Continuous Efforts
By engaging in regular physical activities, eating a nutritious diet, and getting enough sleep, you can keep your brain stimulated. Enhancing your memory is a cumulative effort, wherein you need to take time and manage your routine.
Also, it would be helpful if you can reach out to communities or memory care assisted living for professional help. They can offer companionship and services to assist you with diet, social interaction, and exercise. But even more than that, they can ensure that you get the support and medicines you need on time. Remember that you are not alone in this journey!