Your Active Brain: Tips for Avoiding Memory Loss
We've all been there before. You walk into the next room and can’t remember why you're there? You are introducing people at a party and blank on a name. You put down your keys and can’t find them the next day. Memory loss can be frustrating and as we age we start to fear that these simple memory lapses could be the signs of Alzheimer’s dementia care services.
Keeping your brain active can help to prevent memory loss. Need some ideas on how to stay mentally active? Check out these simple activities you can do to avoid memory loss.
- Keep Learning. When your brain has to work to learn new things you are exercising it. Retirement is the perfect time to take up a new hobby, to take classes at your local college or engage in new activities. Simple things like joining a book club, doing crossword puzzles or finding new routes to your favorite activities engage the brain and keep it working.
- Stay Social. Keeping up regular contact with friends and family is one of the easiest, and most enjoyable, ways to keep your brain active. Join a garden club, start a book club, invite the kids over for dinner or volunteer. Stay active and social to keep your brain alert.
- Get Active. Need another reason to exercise? Now you have it. Regular exercise has been proven to preserve brain health. Just a brisk 20 minute walk each day can help your brain to stay active.
- Watch What You Eat. A healthy diet is another easy way to keep your brain firing on all cylinders. Choose fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, nuts, and beans. These heart healthy foods are also good for your brain. While you’re at it, don’t forget the spices. Some research has shown that herbs and spices can help to build your brain power. Choose black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, basil, and vanilla.
- Play Games. Sound like fun? It is! Games like crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Sudoku, and Mah Jongg can all help to keep your brain active and nimble. Games like these provide the mental stimulation your brain needs to stave off memory loss.
- Get Organized. Simple things like having a location for your keys, purse or wallet, and other essential items can help to minimize the things you forget. Take advantage of calendars and planners to stay on top of appointments and activities. Keep a notebook handy to take notes while on phone calls and to keep your to do list. The more organized you are the less likely you are to forget something.
- Stay Focused. Avoid distractions and multi-tasking. If you are trying to remember vital pieces of information, stay focused on the task at hand and resist the urge to multi-task.
- Reduce Risk Factors. Did you know that diabetes, obesity, depression, and hypertension are likely to contribute to memory loss? Take care of yourself. See your doctor regularly to keep tabs on any chronic health conditions you have.
- Get Some Sleep. Getting a regular 8 hours of sleep is sure to help your brain, but so is a quick cat nap. A quick 10 minute nap has been shown to improve memory. So take that afternoon nap, your brain will thank you!
- Stay Positive. Don’t worry so much. Keeping positive about memory loss, and life in general, can help your brain to function better. If you believe you can do something about memory loss, you are likely to see better results.
If you or a loved one is suffering from memory loss, consider enlisting the help of a senior care provider. Senior care providers can provide the additional attention your loved one needs to ensure they are taking medications, eating right and getting to their favorite activities. At home care companies, like Visiting Angels, provide full and part time care to those dealing with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive issues.
“Assisting individual with mild to severe memory loss is an essential component of our service,” according to Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels Alzheimer's care services. “We have specially trained caregivers on staff to assist individuals coping with Alzheimer’s, dementia and basic memory loss. With our assistance, these individuals are able to live a full and robust life.”
If you are worried about potential memory loss, please visit your doctor. If memory loss is impacting your ability to get through the day, it’s time to get professional help. The memory tests your doctor will perform can help to give you a complete look at your brain health.