5 Awesome Ways for Senior Citizen to Keep Their Memory Sharp
Admit it, you have gone into a room determined to get something, but when you get there you can’t, for the life of it, remember what you are about to get. You rack your brain to remember the one thing you missed in your to-do list but nothing would come up. As you grow older, you will notice more and more of these instances of forgetfulness that you may pass off as part of the aging process. However, constant forgetfulness should not be the norm for senior living or for growing older, as it may be caused by memory problems, brain and mental disorders, or Alzheimer’s disease.
While there are many possible causes and connections of being forgetful, it goes back to the main thing that you want to accomplish to remove forgetfulness: keep your memory sharp. The good thing is that it is never too late to start working on your mental health and memory. You can help you brain become healthier and keep your memories longer.
Here are 5 awesome ways for senior citizens to keep their memory sharp.
- Keep learning
Learning is a never ending process and we all learn something new every day. This keeps the mind active and busy to absorb and process new information regularly. Experts believe that pushing your mental activity to its limits can help keep the memory sharp. Regular mental and brain exercises can keep the brain active and it becomes a habit to exercise the brain. Keeping the brain active can stimulate the brain cells to communicate and the brain functions to work properly. Ways to keep the brain active is by reading, playing board games such as chess, doing puzzles such as jigsaw or crosswords, writing a short story or a novel, and pursuing or learning new musical instruments.
- Continuing to learn and expanding your mind
As learning is a continuous process, gaining new knowledge on different ideas and things can expand your understanding on many things around you. That said, go out of the box and your comfort zone in learning. For instance, start reading novels from different genres. Record your reaction for every different genre to compare your mental and emotional reaction to these novels. Although the human brain does not physically expand, the storage of memories and knowledge will stay with you. Continuous learning is one effective way to keep the brain active, which is a proven effective method to keep a sharp memory.
- Economize your brain use
A sharp memory does not always have to be about remembering every single thing like dates and to-do lists. Sometimes, a good strategy is useful to keep these important things, notes and dates in your memory. Experts suggest that you are more likely to remember your to-do list when you list them down in a notebook or paper. Strategize your brain use by taking advantage of little things to help your memory such as planners, maps, folders to keep your files, address books and to-do lists. Jotting down these little things to remember leaves a bigger space in your mind to keep more important memories.
- Space out your repetitions
It is a common belief among many that if you keep repeating a thought or an idea, it is easier for you to remember them. Although this may work when students are cramming for an exam, it may be a different story for seniors who need to keep their memory sharp. Experts suggest that repetition can only be effective if they are spaced out. This means you can still follow the repetition method, but put a longer amount of time in between to repeat it. This way, you repeat a memory through different times of the day, on different situations, and this will help you in memorization.
- Make a mnemonic
This is an effective method used by students from anywhere in the world to help with memorization especially for long sentences or ideas. A mnemonic is a tool such as a pattern of letters that can be associated with an idea, or an acronym that can help you easily remember an idea.
For example, if someone is possibly having a stroke, it is best to remember the three things to identify a possible stroke as it happens. Just remember the first 3 letters of the word – STR. If the patient is not able to Smile properly, Talk properly, and Raise their hands properly, there is a big chance they are having a stroke.
Just like the body and muscles, when the brain is not used often, it can become dull and lead to mental issues such as forgetfulness. As the body ages, the mind can still be active and continuously be challenged with brain games. Keeping a sharp memory can go a long way, such as prevent older adults from requiring memory care down the road and help in many of the physical activities and to-do lists lined up every day. Otherwise, being forgetful can cause losses, damage and even injuries.
A sharp memory is one less thing to worry about when it comes to your health, and is a vital attribute to smoothly get on your day to day basis. While admittedly, there are senior cases where the memory has gone dull, you can help your brain be healthy and sharp again. You can also look into senior living communities and homes for programs in assisting with mental health and keeping the memory sharp.