Memory Exercises For Older Adults
Post date: 10/19/2016
Our brains are a lot like our muscles youll lose what you dont use. Fortunately, that also means mental activities can help you keep your memory and cognitive ability sharp as you age. In fact, plenty of research suggests healthy adults can improve their memories with regular practice. The AARP even offers a series of online games for brain health.
From simple math problems to complex endeavors such as learning a new language, you can perform a wide variety of tasks to keep your memory sharp. Here are five of the best memory exercises for older adultsmeasures you can start now to improve your memory.
What Are The 10 Warning Signs Of Dementia
The 10 warning signs of dementia Sign 1: Memory loss that affects day-to-day abilities. Sign 2: Difficulty performing familiar tasks. Sign 3: Problems with language. Sign 4: Disorientation in time and space. Sign 5: Impaired judgement. Sign 6: Problems with abstract thinking. Sign 7: Misplacing things.
Special Tasks To Boost Memory And Attention
Memory loss is one of the most common complaints among elderly adults, which is why its important to engage in some simple games to help with improving memory and retention.
Consider the following games:
Stating the months of the year in alphabetical order
Using the letter S name six or more things you can wear on your feet
Observe the objects around you for two minutes, then try to find five red items that will fit in your pockets and five blue objects that are too big to fit
Say two objects for every letter in your first or last name, stating different objects each time
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If Youre Tired Its Hard To Pay Attention And Memory Requires Attention
To remember information, you need to pay attention to it. If youre tired, you simply cannot pay attention as effectively as you would if you were well rested. That statement seems straightforward, but it brings up another question: Why do you get tired?
You may feel tired and have trouble paying attention either because youve been awake too many hours and sleep pressure is building up, or even if youve had a nap because it is the middle of the night and your circadian rhythm is telling you to sleep. In either case, youll you have trouble paying attention, and thus trouble remembering.
Create Healthy Eating Habits
Good nutritional habits can contribute to your physical health, but did you know it can also help enhance memory power? According to Harvard Health Publishing, improved brain health can translate to better brain function. Foods that are rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a healthier brain. Consider incorporating the following nutrient-rich superfoods into your diet to support your memory:
- Fatty fishes such as pollack, salmon, and cod
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Memory Exercises For Seniors That Work
How can we improve our memory? Most experts believe memory exercises for seniors should typically involve real-world activities, but there are also some clinically proven brain training programs shown to effectively improve brain function and memory. Its believed that the key to a sharper mind primarily boils down to four things: keeping your mind active by learning something new, switching up your routine, taking care of your body through a healthy diet and exercise, and if you play brain games, selecting those that are clinically proven to work. Try a combination of these brain exercises and activities to help keep your mind sharp.
How Can Older Adults Improve Memory
With the senior population on the rise its become common for older adults to deal with challenges that pertain to memory recollection. Memory lapses may occur once or a few times a day in older adults. People find themselves standing in a cold garage with no idea as to why I was they were there in the first place. When running an errand at the grocery they often have to give a call to make sure that nothing was left out. As one gets older memory lapses begin occurring more frequently.
1. Help yourself by getting organized and putting thing away properly
Didnt your mother tell you to clean up and put your things away properly. Putting items away in the correct places makes it easier for one to find them at a future point in time. Many stores specialize in home organization like the Container Store. Seniors will be surprised to find amazing solutions for basic items which they use on a daily basis. The brand specializes in creating storage solutions in the most creative area like on walls. Urbio Collection, is a wall system in which you hang plastic buckets to have easy access to the supplies you need. Regardless if your willing or not to invest money into home organization, there are many free DIY organization videos online for one to explore.
2. Make it your business to play games that help the mind
3. Get out of the house at least once a week and go somewhere
4. Make a special effort to pay attention, and concentrate
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Are Memory Games Important For Preschoolers
Memory games are a great way to get kids to focus and think hard about solving problems. Thereâs a lack of research into this, but surely youâd rather they did brain training games than watch another episode of Paw Patrol?
Do you want to explore more interesting games? See our list of the for guidance. We can also show you how to sync your game progress between Android devices.
Assembling A Family Album
Images of loved ones can be soothing. They can also help jog a seniors memory. Try working with your loved one to build a family scrapbook. Then write each persons name next to their photo. Encourage the senior to decorate the album as they see fit, using glitter, markers, stickers and found objects.
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Improve Memory And Mental Health: 25 Brain Games For The Elderly
As we grow older, while physical fitness is still important, so is exercising the mind. Keeping the brain active can be carried out through various avenues such as memory games for improving memory, stimulating puzzles or traditional card games.
Here weve listed 25 of the best brain games you can play with your elderly relatives or loved ones to help keep their brains active. Each brain training activity or game is a fun and effective way to improve overall mental health for all ages, particularly older adults. Weve included an activity or brain game to suit all abilities, and the best part is they can be enjoyed almost anywhere.
Socialize And Have Fun
Being socially isolated is a known risk factor for memory decline. So making time to visit with friends, family, or anyone else you care about on a regular basis may be more important than you realize. After all, humans are naturally social creatures. Our brains are wired for communication and relationships. When you interact with other people in a positive way, you reap cognitive benefits. And when you laugh and engage in fun activities, you can maximize those benefits. That’s why mentally sharp seniors often find opportunities to socialize and have fun by doing things such as:
- Joining clubs based on interests like reading, gardening, or doing crafts
- Making friends with other people who have a great sense of humor
- Hosting creative parties based on funny themes
- Traveling or going on fun day outings with joyful people
Playing memory games can be a fun way to incorporate some brain training into your routine. Following are some good examples:
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Lack Of Physical Activity
Lack of exercise and other physical activity may increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, and stroke all of which can harm the brain. In some studies, physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive performance and reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In general, staying active is known to lower the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and symptoms of depression, all of which in turn can improve cognitive health.
How Do You Deal With Forgetfulness In The Elderly
When forgetfulness increases in loved ones, an adult child caregiver can help reduce the memory loss. Implementing routines, helping a parent consume healthy meals, relieving emotional stresses, increasing mental stimulation and adjusting medications go a long way in helping a parents memory stay alert.
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Repeat What You Want To Know
When you want to remember something you’ve just heard, read, or thought about, repeat it out loud or write it down. That way, you reinforce the memory or connection. For example, if you’ve just been told someone’s name, use it when you speak with him or her: “So, John, where did you meet Camille?” If you place one of your belongings somewhere other than its usual spot, tell yourself out loud what you’ve done. And don’t hesitate to ask for information to be repeated.
Strive For Peaceful Deep 8
Research suggests that the brain processes all the experiences when one’s asleep and stores it in our memory. The conclusion? You need to get at least eight hours of sleep in order to enhance your memory. If possible, take short naps during the daytime and ensure that your body is relaxed when going to bed. Guided meditation audio clips and deep sleep calming audio clips can be of great help.
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Mind Over Matter: How To Improve Memory In Old Age
One of the most frustrating changes that many elderly people experience as the years go by is deterioration in their memory. When a persons memory begins to suffer, it can affect their quality of life and cause them distress. Fortunately, there are many ways that memory can be improved, and here are a few that you may want to recommend to your elderly parent or relative.
Change Your Mindset About Aging
How do you feel about getting older? Do you ever buy into the false notion that everyone “loses their marbles” as they age? Even if you don’t consciously believe such incorrect stereotypes, your subconscious may still be receiving harmful and outdated messages about what it means to be a senior. That can lead to an underlying sense of anxiety about your future and contribute to memory problems.
But you have the power to shift that narrative. Tell yourself every day that you are a capable and thriving human being. Pay less attention to the number of years you’ve been alive and more attention to what you still want to learn and experience. If you believe you can do something, you’ll stand a better chance of achieving it. That includes boosting your memory.
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Cut Down On Refined Carbs
Consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates like cakes, cereal, cookies, white rice and white bread may be damaging to your memory.
These foods have a high glycemic index, meaning the body digests these carbohydrates quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels .
Studies have shown that the Western diet, which is high in refined carbohydrates, is associated with dementia, cognitive decline and reduced cognitive function .
One study of 317 healthy children found that those who consumed more processed carbs like white rice, noodles and fast food had reduced cognitive capacity, including poorer short-term and working memory .
Another study demonstrated that adults who consumed ready-to-eat breakfast cereal daily had poorer cognitive function than those who consumed cereal less frequently (
Vitamin-D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates and in those with darker skin. Speak with your doctor about getting a blood test to find out if you need a vitamin D supplement.
Summary Vitamin-D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates, and has been associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia. If you think you might have low levels of vitamin D, ask your doctor for a blood test.
Listen To Your Body’s Signs And Signals
Whether it’s engaging in a mentally intensive activity or a physically exhaustive one, your body always sends signals whether you need to stop or keep going. Overindulgence, under indulgence, or engaging in multitasking can lead to greater stress which can be the biggest roadblock in the enhancement of your brain’s cognitive abilities. Try to revisit your hobbies and take advantage of the time you have on your side. Take music lessons, start gardening, travel, or volunteer for a charity there is a multitude of options that will keep you on your toes and in good shape mentally, as well as physically.
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How To Prevent Memory Loss In Old Age: 8 Lifestyle Tips To Improve Memory
Cant find your keys? Not sure where you put your glasses? Most people have been there occasional memory lapses are normal. But memory loss that affects your senior loved ones quality of life and their ability to live independently may be a sign of a serious medical condition.
Age, genetics, and other factors can increase someones risk for dementia and Alzheimers disease. But research shows that certain steps can help lower the risk of memory loss associated with these cognitive conditions. Read on to learn how to avoid memory loss and improve memory through simple lifestyle changes.
Less Sitting More Moving
Results from a study done by the Center for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas showed that seniors who engaged in physical activities such as using a stationary bike or treadmill for only 1 hour 3 times a week for twelve weeks resulted in higher resting blood flow to the brain. Improvements in mental health were seen in as few as 6 weeks as there was an increase in blood flow to areas of the brain associated with improved memory.
As a side note, physical exercise improves mood by supplying endorphins and improves appetite as well. It also may provide opportunities for social interaction which also improves memory.
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How We Use The Research
Understanding the neural basis of memory has fostered techniques and programs to help older adults adjust to normal age-related changes. First, it’s important for people in middle-age and up to relax, knowing it’s okay to write to-do lists and organize their living spaces to support their changing memory. Second, rehabilitation experts are sharing expertise with people who want to improve function even if they haven’t experienced an actual brain injury. Memory devices such as mnemonics, routines, visualization, linking new learning to something personally meaningful, and other strategies can boost memory. The greatest gains come from combining memory skill training with cognitive restructuring – in other words, accepting normal age-related changes and actively compensating for them.
Finally, a healthy lifestyle supports brain health. Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to aid cognition, probably because it boosts blood flow and brings more oxygen to the brain. Although objective evidence about the benefits of mental exercise remains limited, certainly it does no harm. Anecdotally, many older people still report that pursuing new intellectual challenges and enjoying a supportive social network helps them stay sharp. In retirement, people stay mentally active in a variety of ways, such as volunteering, learning new subjects, and completing puzzles.
Reversible Causes Of Memory Loss
Its important to remember that memory loss doesnt automatically mean that you have dementia. There are many other reasons why you may be experiencing cognitive problems, including stress, depression, and even vitamin deficiencies. Thats why its so important to go to a doctor to get an official diagnosis if youre experiencing problems.
Sometimes, even what looks like significant memory loss can be caused by treatable conditions and reversible external factors, such as:
Depression. Depression can mimic the signs of memory loss, making it hard for you to concentrate, stay organized, remember things, and get stuff done. Depression is a common problem in older adultsespecially if youre less social and active than you used to be or youve recently experienced a number of important losses or major life changes .
Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 protects neurons and is vital to healthy brain functioning. In fact, a lack of B12 can cause permanent damage to the brain. Older people have a slower nutritional absorption rate, which can make it difficult for you to get the B12 your mind and body need. If you smoke or drink, you may be at particular risk. If you address a vitamin B12 deficiency early, you can reverse the associated memory problems. Treatment is available in the form of a monthly injection.
Are you taking three or more drugs?
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When To See A Doctor For Memory Loss
Its time to consult a doctor when memory lapses become frequent enough or sufficiently noticeable to concern you or a family member. If you get to that point, make an appointment as soon as possible to talk with your primary physician and have a thorough physical examination. Even if youre not displaying all the necessary symptoms to indicate dementia, now may be a good time to take steps to prevent a small problem becoming a larger one.
Your doctor can assess your personal risk factors, evaluate your symptoms, eliminate reversible causes of memory loss, and help you obtain appropriate care. Early diagnosis can treat reversible causes of memory loss, lessen decline in vascular dementia, or improve the quality of life in Alzheimers or other types of dementia.