Memory loss is a common concern for seniors. Simply having occasional memory slips usually isn’t cause for concern, but it’s also not something that has to be accepted as a normal part of the aging process. In fact, there are some things seniors can do to get a much-appreciated memory boost. Continue reading to find out what they are.
Get Sufficient Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, regular sleep helps the brain solidify memories. There’s also evidence that high-quality recuperative sleep for about 7–9 hours per night can contribute to:
• Stronger nerve connections in parts of the brain that handle memory
• Increased mental clarity and focus
• Better short-term and long-term memory
Watch the Diet
Two studies referenced by the Verywell Health website show memory loss may be connected to higher LDL (“bad”) and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. By being mindful of eating habits, seniors can balance their cholesterol levels while also getting a steady influx of nutrients that can boost memory functions in other equally beneficial ways. There are many delicious and nutritious options when it comes to memory-friendly foods, including:
• Salmon, trout, and similar types of fatty fish
• Broccoli and other green leafy vegetables
• Dark chocolate (in moderation)
The University of Texas at Dallas reported seniors using stationary bikes or treadmills for a few hours each day for three months had increased blood flow to the brain. Enhancements were also seen in areas of the brain associated with memory. Walking, swimming, and performing low-impact aerobic workouts are among the commonly recommended exercise options for seniors.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Carmichael respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
Get Mental Exercise
The ability to retain new memories and recall older ones can be increased with activities and exercises that target the parts of the brain responsible for various memory functions. Mental exercises that can be beneficial for seniors include:
• Learning new skills
• Using apps designed to enhance memory skills
• Working word puzzles or playing memory-related games
Professional caregivers with training in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful source of support for seniors. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Many studies show a connection between memory loss and the increased isolation and loneliness that are more common in seniors. Even short periods of daily social interaction can minimize this type of cognitive decline. One study found cognitive decline slowed by approximately 70 percent in seniors who remained socially connected.
Give Yoga a Try
Yoga is a form of exercise that targets both body and mind, which makes it an effective discipline for seniors looking to enjoy a memory boost later in life. A study referenced by Live Science found seniors who practiced yoga showed enhancements in visual-spatial memory, which is the type of memory needed to:
• Recall locations
• Perceive what’s seen accurately
• Minimize confusion
• Navigate safely while driving
There’s evidence suggesting stress and anxiety affect many cognitive and memory functions, which is why another way seniors can get a memory boost is to manage daily stress more effectively. Adopting a hobby, getting regular exercise, learning how to perform deep breathing and relaxation techniques, and keeping a journal to express concerns are some of the ways older adults may be able to keep stress and anxiety levels in check.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Carmichael families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (916) 485-4663 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.