The cost of Medicare shoots up when seniors are detected with dementia. It is often unavoidable, more so as one gets older, and with the challenges it poses in every day living, it can be quite a pain to complete tasks unassisted. Though it is unavoidable, it can definitely be delayed. Here are a few tips that will help boost memory for seniors:
Loci And Other Tricks
Loci is a mnemonic technique that dates back to the ancient Greeks. In fact, according to Lynne Kelly who wrote the book The Memory Code, it might be even older than the Greek civilization. Several games or competitions where good memory is imperative, Loci is used. First, you need to choose a place — it can be your home or your daily walking path. Now, you need to place the objects you want to remember along those paths but it will all be in your mind, creating a memory palace in your head. For example, if you want to remember three things to buy from your local grocery store – eggs, bread, and milk — you need to make up a story.
Say, you walk up to your door and you find you have stepped on eggs and have made a mess, you want to clean your shoes so you go inside the bathroom, but there is no water, only milk falling from the taps. Since you can’t find a washcloth, you open the fridge and take out the pieces of bread to soak up the milk from the bathroom floor. It sounds pretty unusual but you can come up with your own story, whatever works for you. Like using acronyms, keeping a planner and organizer will definitely help as it will give you an organized space to jot down a to-do list or you can even use your phone to set reminders.
Keep Trying New Things
Keeping your brain stimulated at all times is absolutely necessary in old age. For that, you need to keep challenging yourself. Reading new books, learning new things to do like a foreign language or a skill, playing a new musical instrument or even learning how to use new gadgets help a lot. The whole point is to move beyond your comfort zone and do new things. You can definitely spend your retired life sitting in front of the TV doing nothing and sipping wine. But if you are concerned about your mental health, then you must try new things. Don’t think of failing. What is more important is trying to learn it. There is no competition here.
Improve Your Sleeping Habits
Quality of sleep is very important in old age. Stick to a regular sleep routine and stop having tea or coffee post after 6 in the evening. Keep your lights dim in your bedroom, maybe even get thick curtains for your windows, and make sure your bed is cozy. Just as it is important to have darker bedrooms, make sure you get a fair dose of sunlight during the day. This ensures the release of neurotransmitter, dopamine, that helps in brain functions.
Stay Physically Fit
To stay mentally fit, you need to have good physical strength as well. Make sure you are getting your daily dose of exercise. Physical activities can help keep your brain active and healthy. When we exercise, our blood circulation increases, and our brain gets a good amount of oxygen. Exercise increases better memory and improves cognitive function, too.
Get Yourself Checked
Certain medical conditions are associated with bad memory or memory loss. Its common causes are depression, thyroid problems, hormonal disbalance, heart disease, stroke, B12 deficiency, and brain tumors, among others. Also, in old age, some seniors need to take medicines regularly for some chronic disease or condition. Sometimes, these medicines might be the reason behind forgetfulness. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, certain painkillers, muscle relaxants, anti-allergic for cold, – these are the usual culprits. If you are taking any of these and experiencing forgetfulness, don’t hesitate to call up your family physician.
Now that you know a few ways to improve your memory, you need to stick to a healthy lifestyle as well. Your mental and physical wellness together can ensure an old age where you are fit, active, and most importantly, happy and content with life. It is crucial to remember everything is linked, and one cannot stay well without the other. The key to happiness in your old age, among other things, lies in the fact that you should not feel down now that you are going towards the end of your life. Look for positivity everywhere and live life to the fullest. Only then can you stay well at all times.