8 Memory Tips for Seniors and Their Family Caregivers
Memory impairment with aging is common. Researchers report that the brain function decline of aging can be begin when we are only 45 and that by age 80 normally functioning individuals have lost 40% of their memory.
How often have you asked yourself why you came into a room and what you were looking for? How many times have we forgotten where we parked, misplaced our keys or forgotten someone’s name?
Or, have you ever looked everywhere for your phone, reading classes or remote control only to find them in your hand?
As seniors get older, they tend to have more difficulty remembering or completing other mental tasks and report far more mental lapses or forgetfulness.
What can we do to help our loved one’s retain their memory more easily?
Boosting Seniors’ Memory
- Get your senior connected! Joining family and friends on social networking sites such as Facebook, will exercise their brains as well as keep them engaged, learning new skills and enjoying their connections. Maintaining relationship and avoiding isolation will improve brain health and emotional health in seniors.
- Engage them in social activities - Attend music, art and cultural events. Check out your local senior center, various support groups, volunteer opportunities, church groups , special interest groups or even meet-up groups specific to seniors. Being active in the community will help keep their minds sharp.
- Play brain games - Provide mentally stimulating activities such as brain fitness games, soduku, Wii video games, reading, singing, playing cards, learning a language, or crossword puzzles. Laughing loudly and deeply during these activities will help stimulate brain activity!
- Stay active - Find ways to keep your loved one active during the day with activities such as walking, aerobics, yoga, tai chi etc. to keep their body moving and ready for sleep. Exercising your loved one’s body will help exercise their brain.
- Drink plenty of fluids - Seniors who are even mildly dehydrated can suffer from cognitive impairment.
- Seek advice from your Senior’s doctor - There may be medications or uncontrolled chronic diseases that are impacting their memory that can be corrected.
- Eat well - A well balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as low fat foods. Foods that stimulate brain health such as omega 3 fat from fish or fish oil supplements, antioxidants in berries and brightly colored tart cherries, drinking green tea, and adding foods containing resveratrol such as grapes and cranberry juice can help boost memory. Avoiding excessive calorie intake as your loved one ages not only helps keep their weight down but will help their memory.
- Get enough sleep - 7-8 hours of sleep each night is ideal for many. Look for patterns or obstacles in the way of your loved one getting enough quality hours of sleep. Perhaps this means changing their sleep cycle so they aren’t up late and or sleeping in patches throughout the day, perhaps they need a new mattress or are drinking caffeine or eating snacks to close to bedtime. Removing obstacles to allow them to get high quality sleep and enough hours of sleep is important and can be easily fixed.