If you want to improve memory, you should consult with a doctor at first. You should also exercise mentally like solving a crossword. It is crucial to get enough sleep, improve diet and stay physically active. If you thinking about supplements to help your memory, always speak to your doctor first. Read further to get more tips on how to improve memory in the elderly.
You might think you have a good memory, but how many times do you lose your reading glasses or car keys, or walk in the kitchen and forget why you went there? Yes, I know, these things happen to people of any age.
Unfortunately, however, they become more common as we become older. Unless you have a diagnosed illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, these situations can be improved by some simple self-help methods that are not only beneficial but enjoyable too.
Tips to Improve Memory in the Elderly:
Let’s have a look at some of these and see if we can incorporate some, if not all into our daily life.
Get Enough Sleep
Good, unbroken sleep, does wonders for poor memory. Your brain needs sleep time to process daily memories and move them from temporary memory to permanent memory. Getting enough sleep is, therefore, a priority. On average an adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day.
Improve Your Diet
The food you eat nourishes your whole body, and the brain needs nutrients as much as any other organ in the body. Good things to eat include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Others include low-fat protein such as fish, skinless poultry and beans.
Although a moderate amount of alcohol is said to be good for digestion, too much can seriously damage your body, including the brain by causing confusion and memory loss. Cut down on or better still quit alcohol, tobacco and other non-prescription drugs.
The target here is only to eat and drink those items which will benefit your body. Oh, and while we’re talking about it, decrease the amount of refined sugar and increase the volume of drinking water too.
Stay Physically Active
Just about everyone knows that physical activity increases the blood flow to the body, and that includes the brain. Doesn’t it make sense that increased blood flow to the brain will help keep your memory sharp? Although most authorities recommend at least two hours a week of brisk walking or an hour of running every week, some people, especially the elderly can’t even manage that.
If this sounds like you, then try to incorporate a few ten-minute walking sessions into your day, do some gardening, take the dog for a walk, walk to the shops rather than drive, or even do some vigorous housework.
Remember, any amount of physical exercise is better than none. Why not find a local group and learn some gentle ballroom dances? You won’t regret it.
We’ve just seen how physical activity will keep your bodily organs in shape. However, the brain doesn’t only need oxygen and nutrients to keep it healthy. It needs mental stimulation too. Keeping mentally active is a vital part of being healthy and encouraging your brain to do what it’s meant to do.
Try solving crossword or puzzles, read a challenging book, do jigsaw puzzles, take up playing bridge with some friends, learn a musical instrument or a foreign language. If you find these difficult, then try answering the questions on television quiz shows before the contestant does.
Any new interest or hobby will help to stimulate your mind. You can even volunteer at a local community project or school.
Socializing with friends and acquaintances helps to ward off depression, loneliness, and stress. All of which contributes to memory loss. Make a point of getting out and about with friends and family. Meet up regularly with friends for shared hobbies or maybe just a chat over a cup of tea.
Whatever you do, socializing with other people will stimulate your memory, and give your life a purpose, especially if you live alone.
Although all this activity is good for your body and mind, you also need time to quieten your brain. This is where meditation comes into its own. It doesn’t matter if the meditation is based around yoga, religious teaching or just a way to calm and still your mind.
All you need to do is sit still and be comfortable and let your mind relax until it is focused on only one thing. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, so long as you can narrow the focus down to one topic. Most people when they start out learning to meditate, find they fall asleep.
Don’t worry about this, it’s perfectly normal. Just try to get enough sleep at night and eventually you’ll find you can stay awake and calm your mind at the same time.
It’s commonly known that if your house is disorganized and cluttered, you will tend to forget things. Always try to keep things tidy in the home and make lists organizing your activities. Use a paper calendar, journal or even a calendar on your cell phone to keep track of appointments and special occasions.
An inability to concentrate or focus is often mistaken for bad memory. It’s not that you can’t access the memory in your brain, it’s more likely that the memory didn’t get processed in the first place. Try not to do too many things at once, concentrate on what you are trying to do and repeat aloud entries in your to-do lists.
Even the act of repeating or writing things down will help you retain the information.
How About Memory Supplements?
There are many vitamins and supplements available that might aid and improve your memory. Usually, you should be able to get enough brain nutrients from your diet. However, sometimes it’s good to increase the dosage for a particular reason. Three of the commonest and most easily available memory supplements include
- Omega-3 fatty acids. These are present in oily fish and some seeds and nuts. You can buy the supplements in capsule form and they are pleasant and easy to take.
- Vitamin E. This vitamin seems to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s, although it doesn’t stop it completely. Some research shows that too much vitamin E can cause serious problems if you are unhealthy so it’s worthwhile speaking to your doctor before taking this supplement.
- Ginseng. This herb might improve fatigue and quality of life. It has been shown to improve memory, but the research has only been done with small groups of people.
Before self-medicating with supplements to help your memory, always speak to your doctor first. Your bad memory might be a symptom of a serious medical condition that needs proper care and treatment.
Not only that but some of the supplements might interfere with other medications you are currently taking. It doesn’t hurt to ask a professional doctor.
Memory problems are common among seniors and the elderly, hopefully, this article provided you with ideas you can implement while improving your memory. If you are taking medications daily there is a chance you will forget to take some, check best practices for medication management.
Like mentioned before, your brain needs the right nutrients in order to function well, be sure to check the nutritional needs of the elderly. If you often forget to eat, check how to improve your appetite.