May 8th, 2020
Increased forgetfulness can be a side effect of aging — but there are ways to improve memory or help to maintain your current cognitive function.
While we’re never too old to learn something new, just like a muscle, we have to regularly use and challenge our brain so it maintains its current memory state and cognitive declines are not as drastic. Here are four ideas to help you strengthen and preserve your cognitive abilities.
Board games, crossword puzzles, mobile app-based games and word searches all stimulate cognitive skills. Also, game playing is a fun, beneficial way to boost the memory through repetition.
While games help keep the memory sharp, studies have shown that brain game exercises can take your memory preservation to the next level by helping to reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.
The benefits of physical activity are multifold. From weight management to improved mood, reduced risk of disease and increased lifespan, exercise is one of the best ways to maintain your health over time.
It’s also crucial for preserving cognitive function. In fact, physical exercise boosts memory in a variety of ways and directly prompts physiological changes that preserve brain health. Indirectly, exercise improves sleep and minimizes stress, two areas of wellness that contribute to overall cognitive well-being.
RELATED CONTENT: Staying Active While Having Fun
Like exercise, the health perks of being socially active are vast. Spending time with friends, maintaining involvement in clubs and other organizations, and even connecting with family members and friends on a frequent basis are all activities that stimulate the brain and preserve memory.
Though we are all practicing social distancing, video chats and phone calls to long-distance family and friends are a great way to stay socially active and stimulate the brain. Even memory tests over the phone with friends and family can improve cognitive function.
A healthy diet is crucial for more than just your waistline. Choosing foods that are low in sugar and not processed lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Foods that have been shown to improve memory include:
- Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Dark greens, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits, specifically blueberries
- Dark chocolate
- Spices, including turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, etc.
Independence Village Is Here To Help
The transition to memory care or a senior living community can be a difficult process. This survey can help as you take the first step in exploring senior living options at Independence Village. Find a community near you and speak with one of our community specialists to learn more.