Memory loss is one of the most common issues among those over the age of 65. In the most serious cases, members of this age group develop severe cognitive conditions such as dementia. Below are some simple habits to improve memory.
Move More and Sit Less
A University of Texas study demonstrated that retirees that partake in physical activities like walking or using a treadmill for three hours per week demonstrated higher brain blood flow with improved memory. Additionally, physical fitness, in general, will enhance mood through the supply of endorphins and will boost your appetite while creating opportunities to socially interact with others.
Get More Sleep
An organization called the National Sleep Foundation has demonstrated the connection between sleep and memory. Their research suggests that sleeping triggers brain changes that will actually enhance them. It accomplishes this by forging connections between the brain cells while assisting in the transfer of memories from the short to longer term. In other words, new memories that aging adults receive have a greater likelihood of remaining if they are getting enough sleep.
But just how much sleep should seniors be getting? Experts recommend from six to nine hours each night. In addition to the length of sleep, it is also important to consider the quality. As much as possible, sleep should not be disrupted. This is because research shows that sleep interruptions make it more difficult for seniors to concentrate while awake, and it will be harder for them to retain what they’ve learned. On top of all this, their most recent memories might be fragmented, making it more challenging for them to form the necessary connections.
Switching Your Diet
A lot of aging individuals are not eating right, and this won’t help their memory. In fact, Harvard Health Publications has revealed that foods that are rich in trans or saturated fats, like steak, fried foods, and dairy will create elevated LDL cholesterol levels which can clog your arteries, and can also create damage within the brain. The solution is to switch to a diet that is rich in either polyunsaturated or monosaturated fats. This includes things like vegetables, fruit, fish, olive oil, and nuts, which will boost the body’s HDL cholesterol levels and prevent the blood vessels from becoming damaged or lower the incidence of stroke and memory loss.
Challenge Yourself Mentally
Many elders reach a point where they stop learning, either because they feel there is nothing more they need to know or because they become uninterested. However, learning new skills and hobbies such as a language or playing a musical instrument will challenge your mind and promote memory recollection.
Loneliness is a frequent problem among the elderly, and this is understandable to a large extent. Either their spouse or friends may have passed away which leaves them with no one to confide in, especially if their children or grandchildren live far away, or they may not have children or a grandchild which compounds the issue further. Joining a retirement community where you can interact with others of the same age group will not only lift your spirits but improve your memory as well.