Senior citizens tend to suffer from loss of memory-the ability to remember and retrieve information. For instance, they may forget people’s names, whatever it is that they were looking for or what they were going to buy from the shop. Those of us who have spent some time with a senior can attest to the fact that they are always asking these questions. This also includes independent living Houston seniors. Luckily there are a number of things that seniors can do to reduce the amount of their forgetfulness. They do not have to tolerate it.
Learning something new
Just like the rest of the body, the brain needs to be exercised with new challenges to keep it healthy. New brain cells can still be formed in people at their old age. Learning new skills can help stimulate that process. Studies have shown that learning new skills such playing a musical instrument, studying a new topic and learning how to speak a foreign language is an important aid in boosting memory. These skills require creativity and high cognitive demand and hence they help to improve brain function. They also help keep seniors engaged in their communities’ activities thus sharpening their social skills which in turn boosts self confidence and reduces isolation.
Memorize simple information
Keeping memory on small things such as birthdays, telephone numbers, addresses, short poems, new words, shopping lists and names works at keeping your memory sharp all the time. There are several methods that can help in memorizing simple information really fast. For example, while memorizing new words it is advisable to first guess their meaning even when you have no clue of what they mean. Your guess might be wrong but this will definitely make you remember the new word easier than if you did not guess at all. The same applies to memorizing people’s names. You guess their name when you meet them first and when you learn their name, you will remember it better. Repetition too helps in memorizing things. Repeating something over and over makes it more memorable. Use of mnemonics is also key in memorizing. This includes relating a word or name to something you already know. This creates high quality memory. Another effective strategy for memorizing word is thinking spatially. Thinking of a space such as a room and then attaching a word to a place in that space makes it more memorable. While memorizing it is important to relax. This determines how effective memory will be.
Start a new hobby
A hobby is something outside ones job that one enjoys doing wholly. Examples include painting, mountain climbing, car racing and writing poems. Hobbies help us to cope with life and focus on what we do. A lot of research has shown that picking up new hobbies is a good way of sharpening one’s mind. When you pick up new hobby, your brain redirects attention towards acquiring the new knowledge. For example if you are learning how to paint, your brain will focus on making the right patterns and blending colours correctly. There are certain hobbies that are highly effective in their ability to keep the brain sharp all the time. Reading for instance not only increases your knowledge but also challenges you to use your imagination. This helps to improve overall brain function. Hobbies that involve physical activity are not only good for the body but also the mind. Physical activity improves blood circulation to vital organs including the brain. Our brain needs oxygen to function properly. Exercise also relieves tension in muscles hence promoting good sleep. A restful sleep relaxes the brain which in turn helps us to retain information. Writing is another great hobby to take up in order to improve brain function. Creative writing helps to improve imagination and visual understanding.
Use your non dominant hand to write
Some therapists say that using your opposite hand once in a while grows your brain cells. The brain improves through mental stimulation and as people age they tend to stimulate their brain less often. Thus they experience memory loss and decreased ability in motor skills. Using your non dominant hand strengthens neural connection in the brain. This improves how the brain generally works and increases memory.
Doing Math in your head and drawing a map from memory
This helps one to remain mentally active hence increasing brain power. Consequently, memory is improved.
Other strategies to improve memory include eating a well balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, avoiding smoking and managing stress effectively. Memory is an important tool that needs to be developed and improved all the time. For seniors, their care takers should guide them through these strategies to ensure that their memory is doing great since they are the most affected by loss of memory.