Agreements And Deals Wont Work
Many family caregivers try to create written agreements with their elderly loved ones. They also try to bargain with them in order to get some cooperation over an issue.
An example of something a caregiver might say to her elderly parent would be something likeIf you take a shower now then we can go to the movies this afternoon.
Tactics like this dont normally work simply because the senior parent is not able to remember it and/or able to process what you are saying to them. Even if they respond with an affirmative and appear to comprehend. This of course depends on the severity of their memory loss.
The tip here is to avoid using these types of strategies they normally do not work.
Dealing With Other People
- Try not to be embarrassed if you forget something. If the right word or piece of information escapes you, dont try too hard. Once you stop trying it will often pop into your head.
- We all need help from time to time and other people are usually only too happy to be asked. Talk to family and friends about how they can help and support you.
Mental Health And Your Memory
Looking after your mental health can also help your memory in several ways.
Keep your brain active
Keeping your brain active may help you retain your memory and other mental abilities for longer. Could you learn a new hobby? There are lots of ways to exercise your mind, including:
- playing card games or board games.
Find ways to deal with stress and worry
Its common for people to become worried when they have memory problems. This makes it even harder to remember a persons name or what you were doing. The following tips may help you to manage stress or worry:
- Talking about problems can help. Try sharing your problems with someone you trust. They will likely welcome your trust and you may feel better just for taking some action. Friends or family may suggest solutions you hadnt thought about.
- Try to maintain a healthy diet and keep physically and socially active as this can help with mental health as well as physical health.
- Complementary and alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, acupuncture and massage therapy may be helpful. Speak to your GP before trying any of these.
- It is important to be able to relax.
Relax and reduce stress
There are many different exercises and techniques you can practise to help you relax and reduce stress. Here are some of the more popular ones.
You can sometimes combine these. Try some to see what works for you.
Stay socially active
Staying socially active can also help with your memory.
Plan everyday activities
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Why Some Foods Induce Memory Loss
The brain needs its own brand of fuel. It requires healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and adequate vitamins and minerals. Consuming too little of these foods and too many complex carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar stimulates the production of toxins in the body. Those toxins can lead to inflammation, the build-up of plaques in the brain and, as a result, impaired cognitive function.
These effects apply to people of all ages, not just seniors.
Remove Distractions And Sources Of Stress
Mental strain and emotional tension can act as major barriers to the creation and retrieval of memories. That’s especially true if you are chronically distracted or stressed out. After all, your brain can only process so much information at any one time. When your cognitive load is bigger than your brain’s ability to handle it, you can’t learn or consolidate new knowledge as effectively. So if you want to prevent memory loss and enjoy better powers of recall, you need to do whatever you can to minimize stress and distractions. For example:
- Do just one thing at a time instead of multitasking.
- Opt for a slower pace if you’ve been mindlessly rushing from one activity to the next.
- Pay close attention to each new piece of information you want to remember for at least 10 seconds.
- Let people know how you feel instead of keeping your emotions hidden.
- Meditate and take more frequent breaks, especially if your days are filled with nearly constant activity.
- Learn how to say no when you feel you need some downtime.
- Limit the amount of time you spend online since the Internet is full of distractions and may wire your brain to constantly crave new diversions, even of the meaningless or unimportant variety.
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Finding The Cause Of Memory Loss
If you find that you are increasingly forgetful or if memory problems interfere with your daily life, schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause and best treatment.
To evaluate memory loss, your doctor will take a medical history, perform a physical exam — including a neurologic exam — and ask questions to test mental ability. Depending on the results, further evaluation may include blood and urine tests, nerve tests, and imaging tests of the brain such as computerized axial tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging .
You may also be sent for neuropsychological testing, which is a battery of tests that help pinpoint the memory loss.
Go With Ginkgo Biloba
You may have heard ginkgo biloba touted as a brain herb, but American research casts doubt on its usefulness. Maki says ginkgo biloba is widely used in Germany to combat dementia and memory loss, but studies done in the United States have not shown that it performs any better than a placebo. Ginkgo biloba is generally considered safe but can have some serious negative interactions with medications, so talk with your doctor before taking the supplement during menopause or at any other time.
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The Diet And Memory Connection
As evidence of this effect are the results of a study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, published online May 17 in the journal Annals of Neurology. Women in the study who ate the most saturated fats from foods such as red meat and butter performed worse on tests of thinking and memory than women who ate the lowest amounts of these fats.
The exact reason for the connection between diets high in saturated and trans fats and poorer memory isn’t entirely clear, but the relationship may be mediated by a gene called apolipoprotein E, or APOE. This gene is associated with the amount of cholesterol in your blood, and people with a variation of this gene, called APOE e4 are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. “About 65% of individuals who wind up with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease in their 60s and 70s have that gene,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.
How does the APOE e4 gene contribute to dementia? Researchers aren’t exactly sure, but they have discovered that people with this genetic variation have a greater number of sticky protein clumps, called beta-amyloid plaques, in the brain. These plaque deposits, which are associated with the destruction of brain cells, are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Best Ways To Help Your Memory
For young and older people alike, its valuable to get your dietary vitamins from the food you eat. Supplements can fill in the gaps, but check with your doctor before you go over the recommended daily intake.
No matter your age, the best way to combat memory decline is to eat well and exercise your body and your brain. The Mediterranean diet is a good source of all the vitamins your body needs.
The Mediterranean diet has been as a way to improve memory. The hallmarks of the diet include:
- mostly plant-based foods
- limiting red meat
- eating fish
- using liberal amounts of olive oil to prepare meals
The MIND diet, in particular, emphasizes the consumption of green, leafy vegetables and plant-based food in addition to the high protein and olive oil recommendations of the Mediterranean diet.
Having a strong support network and being engaged in your local community have been suggested as ways to delay or prevent dementia. Establishing healthy sleep habits can also protect your brain.
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Having Difficulties With Day
As dementia progresses, the person will have more difficulties with daily tasks, such as getting dressed, making a cup of tea, or taking medication. This may be because these tasks involve following a set of steps, and the person with dementia cannot remember in what order these steps are supposed to be followed.
When a person begins to have difficulties with familiar tasks, it can be worrying for those around them. You may be concerned about the persons safety and their ability to manage. You may feel that you have to stop the person from doing certain tasks, or start doing these tasks for them.
However, it is important to support the person to do as much as possible for themselves, for as long as they can.
What The Doctor Does
Doctors ask about the personâs symptoms and medical history. Doctors then do a physical examination. Having a family member present is helpful because people with memory difficulties may not be able to describe their symptoms accurately. What doctors find during the history and physical examination often suggests a cause and the tests that may need to be done .
Doctors often talk to the person and the personâs family members separately because family members may not feel free to describe the symptoms candidly with the person listening.
Doctors ask specific questions about the memory loss:
What types of things the person forgets
When the memory problems started
Whether memory loss is getting worse
How the memory loss is affecting the personâs ability to function at work and at home
Doctors also ask whether the person has other symptoms, such as difficulty using or understanding language and changes in their eating and sleeping habits or mood. They ask about all disorders the person has had and all the drugs the person is taking to check for possible causes. Doctors also ask the person about any unusual dietary habits. Information about the personâs education, jobs, and social activities can help doctors better assess the person’s previous mental function and gauge the severity of the problem. Doctors ask whether any family members have had dementia or early mild cognitive impairment.
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Home Remedies For Short
You might have heard that certain vitamin supplements can help improve your short-term memory. However, even though these supplements are safe, theres conflicting research on whether they help memory loss.
In some cases, they can be helpful. For example, a B-12 supplement may help if your short-term memory loss is caused by a B-12 deficiency.
Otherwise, theres mixed evidence for how well other supplements work for memory loss. For example, ginkgo biloba is a popular supplement for memory and concentration issues. But a review of 36 studies found that while the supplement is safe, its effects on dementia or other cognitive impairments is inconsistent and unreliable.
Fish oil is another supplement you may have heard helps memory. A Cochrane review found that fish oil doesnt have any significant cognitive benefits for healthy older adults. However, they suggested that more research should be done on this topic.
Curcumin, which is extracted from turmeric, has been said to help improve cognitive function, including memory.
A review of curcumins effect on people with Alzheimers disease found that theres some evidence that curcumin positively affects some of the pathways affected by Alzheimers disease. However, the researchers found that more research is needed to say definitively if curcumin can help memory problems.
Even if supplements arent effective in treating short-term memory loss, there are some lifestyle modifications you can try, including:
Physical Health And Your Memory
Just because you have dementia;doesnt mean you should feel unwell. Looking after your physical health can help with your memory.
- Try to eat balanced meals and drink plenty of fluids.
- If you smoke, try to give up, and drink alcohol in moderation . Your GP surgery will be able to give you support and advice about healthy levels of alcohol and about stopping smoking.
- Try to be physically active and do some kind of exercise several times a week for 30 minutes or more each time. A brisk walk, swimming, cycling or gardening all count.
- Consider joining a local exercise group or class such as a walking group, tai chi, dance, aerobics or yoga. Visit our dementia directory to see what is available where you live.
- Get enough sleep, preferably during the night-time .
- If you often feel low or irritable, you may be depressed. There are treatments for depression and anxiety so see your GP if it continues or gets worse.
- Get your sight and hearing checked regularly. If you need a hearing aid, wear it, check the batteries and keep it clean. If you wear glasses, make sure they fit comfortably and keep them clean.
- See the dentist regularly and maintain good mouth hygiene.
- Pay attention to foot care and make sure your shoes and slippers fit well.
- Ask your GP about vaccines, such as for coronavirus, flu, pneumonia and shingles .
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Getting Lost Outside The Home
A person with dementia may want to leave the house for any number of reasons. These could include exercising or going to the shops. This type of activity can help the person maintain some independence and boost their wellbeing.
Such a trip may involve the person taking familiar routes or heading towards an area that they know well. Despite this, a person with dementia may set off somewhere and then forget where they were going or why. They may also have problems recognising their environment and this can lead to them getting lost or coming to harm. This can be distressing for the person and for their carer.
For more advice on managing the risks of a person with dementia getting lost outside the home see Walking about.
It can be especially worrying if the person gets lost while driving. If this is the case, the person with dementia may have to stop driving, or you may need to look at ways to manage this, such as only driving with another person in the car.;
Memory: 5 Ways To Protect Your Brain Health
Everybodys memory goes on the fritz now and again. Many lapses can be blamed on normal, fleeting problems like inattention or an overly busy day.
More concerning, though, are certain ongoing kinds of memory problems, which is why its worth doing everything in your power to minimize their odds of happening.
Memory is just a tiny part of brain functioning, and theres a lot you can do to protect your brain health, says Johns Hopkins neurologist;Barry Gordon, M.D., Ph.D.
Five of his top suggestions:
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Symptoms Of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage between normal age-related cognitive changes and the more serious symptoms that indicate dementia.
MCI can involve problems with memory, language, thinking, and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes, but the line between MCI and normal memory problems is not always a clear one. The difference is often one of degrees. For example, its normal as you age to have some problems remembering the names of people. However, its not normal to forget the names of your close family and friends and then still be unable to recall them after a period of time.
If you have mild cognitive impairment, you and your family or close friends will likely be aware of the decline in your memory or mental function. But, unlike people with full-blown dementia, you are still able to function in your daily life without relying on others.
While many people with MCI eventually develop Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia, that doesnt mean its inevitable. Some people with MCI plateau at a relatively mild stage of decline while others even return to normal. The course is difficult to predict, but in general, the greater the degree of memory impairment, the greater your risk of developing dementia some time in the future.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask you some questions to try to find the cause of your memory problems.
It might be useful to bring someone else with you who can help describe the problems you’re having.
The GP may refer you to a memory specialist for an in-depth assessment. Further tests, such as scans, may also sometimes be needed.
Any treatment that’s recommended will depend on the cause of your memory problems.
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The 10 Best Nootropic Supplements To Boost Brain Power
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Nootropics are natural supplements or drugs that have a beneficial effect on brain function in healthy people.
Many of these can boost memory, motivation, creativity, alertness and general cognitive function. Nootropics may also reduce age-related declines in brain function.
Here are the 10 best nootropic supplements to boost your brain function.
The Best Ways To Help Prevent Memory Loss
- 5 of the Best Ways to Help Prevent Memory Loss
Do you frequently misplace your keys or phone?
Are you forgetting appointments?
Do you often wonder why you entered a room?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing memory loss.
If your memory problems have become a serious concern, it might be time to seek out professional help. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals perpetuate a myth about memory loss.
Memory Loss Myth
When you visit your primary care physician or local neurologist, theyll typically ask you a few questions, give you some short tests, and order an MRI. Based on your results, these medical professionals will often tell you this myth about memory loss: Everyone has memory problems with age. Its normal.
Despite what many healthcare practitioners would have you believe, losing your memory in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or even 80s isnt normal. Its a sign of trouble.
Many things can lead to memory loss. Here are just a few
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