Experiencing some age-related memory difficulties is completely normal. Problems can range from very mild, like the so-called “senior moment” when a word or name refuses to reveal itself, to more severe cases, such as the gradual, severe cognitive decline associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Some memory loss may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing seniors can do about it. There are tricks to help improve and maintain memory, as well as tricks to handle memory loss as it occurs. Lancaster Home Care Assistance presents these 6 tricks to give senior memory a boost.
Simply repeating information aloud when it’s first introduced, like a name, or writing it down will help your senior loved one retain the information. For bigger tasks, like learning new vocabulary or a new phone number, many repetitions may be necessary. However, researchers suggest spacing out repetition sessions instead of cramming, as for an exam.
Use routine, structure, or a calendar for everyday things like birthdays and appointments. If your senior loved one isn’t trying to remember every detail of his or her schedule, they’ll have an easier time remembering the important things.
Encourage your senior loved one to use their smartphone, tablet, computer, or game console to play memory-boosting games or complete memory-strengthening lessons. Researchers are unclear as to why, but just the act of using technology seems to improve the flexibility of the brain.
Taking a class or learning a new hobby can improve overall cognitive function. Experts believe ongoing education and learning new things keeps the brain from aging as quickly because the brain remains actively engaged.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that the caffeine in one strong cup of coffee helps memory and cognitive skills. Speak to the doctor before adding caffeine to your senior loved one’s diet, as there may be health conflicts for some seniors.
6. Sleep and Eat
Proper rest and diet are crucial to good memory. A lack of sleep directly impacts memory in a negative way. Make sure your senior loved one is getting enough sleep and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and folate. It’s also important to get regular exercise. Studies have shown that the hippocampus–the brain’s memory center–grows in volume in senior adults who walk regularly. This area normally decreases as people age.
Ensure your loved one is aging safety and maintaining mental acuity with a caregiver from Home Care Assistance of Lancaster. Our caregivers are able to assist with everything from incontinence to light housework, and are also highly-trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which is designed to slow cognitive decline. Call us today at (717) 540-4663 and schedule your free in-home consultation. We are available 24/7, never require long-term contracts, and have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.