As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes including the brain. Aging often causes us to experience normal changes in memory such as losing our car keys, recalling someone’s name and forgetting an appointment. Although subtle memory changes are normal, if memory loss disrupts your daily life or ability to function this could be a warning sign of a more serious problem such as Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
While there is no surefire way or magic pill to prevent cognitive decline, research suggests certain activities do play a role in improving overall brain function and health.
Simple Tips to Improve Your Memory:
- Physical Exercise: Physical activity can lower your risk of memory loss by increasing blood flow throughout your body including your brain. Older adults should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week.
- Mental Exercise: Stimulate your brain with challenging activities at least once or twice a week. Learn a new language, play a new instrument, try a new hobby or craft.
- Diet: Maintain a healthy diet that includes fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and Omega-3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts and soy beans.
- Stress: Protect yourself from stress which can negatively impair memory and cognitive function in the brain. Focus on ways to relax such as yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, and meditation.
- Sleep: Quality sleep is the most important thing you can do to reset your brain and allow it to heal and restore mental health. (7-8 hrs of sleep recommended for people age 65+)
If you are having problems with completing daily tasks, comprehending and/or expressing thoughts, please talk to your doctor. Ask your doctor if therapy could benefit you. Our therapy team can discuss the role of therapy in dementia and benefits of physical, occupational and speech therapy.