As we age, our ability to remember things tends to diminish. Most people don’t think much about how their memory works until it starts to fail them. If you or a loved one are experiencing memory loss, it can be scary and difficult to know how to handle it. The good news is that there are many things that can improve memory, and it is never too late to start working on it.
Listening To Music
Listening to and singing along to your favorite songs is a great way to spend time with friends and family, and it can even help your memory! When you sing songs you already know, your brain has to recall the lyrics and rhythm of the song—and this can help you remember other things, too. It’s also fun to learn a new song, and studies have shown that learning new things—like a new song—keeps your brain young.
As we get older, many of us experience memory loss or other symptoms of mild cognitive impairment. While age is a factor, so is a lifestyle. Current research suggests that certain types of activities, such as regular physical exercise and exploring nature, can actually help boost cognitive function in seniors.
Taking a walk in the woods, smelling the flowers, or observing a beach sunset may not be what many people think of when they consider factors that can help people with memory problems. However, there is a growing body of research that suggests the value of nature experiences in helping to reduce the impact of memory loss. In fact, some experts believe that being in natural environments can even help improve the memory of healthy people.
If you suffer from memory loss, exercise could be one of the best ways to help improve your symptoms. A study from the University of Pittsburgh found that people with mild memory loss who did 45 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week for six weeks had improvements in their memory. Aerobic exercise, which raises heart rate and raises the body’s demand for oxygen, is suitable for improving brain health, including memory function.
Playing Mind Games
A recent study has found that the more regularly you engage in activities that challenge your brain, the less likely you are to suffer from memory loss in later life. The study defined activities as things like reading, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku, as well as playing games such as Scrabble and Cluedo. According to the study, the activities that will have the greatest impact on your brain are those that require you to “think outside the box” and challenge you to make connections and problem-solve. For example, the puzzles in a crossword require you to link together different strands of information, while the hidden clues in Scrabble require you to find a word in the most unusual places.
Gardening can not only improve physical health but mental health as well. Not only can it give you a sense of purpose—especially for people who are retired—but it can also boost memory and cognitive function. Studies have shown that gardening can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Remembering a particular spot can be helpful to avoid forgetting loved ones. The garden can be a great source of pleasure to be maintained and improved.
Viewing Family Albums
Everyone has embarrassing pictures in their family photo albums—mom in a bikini, dad in his underwear, the dog with a missing ear. But, recent research suggests that viewing these pictures can help reduce memory loss in seniors and even improve their memory function. In a study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, researchers found that out of 200 people who participated in a 30-day study, those who viewed pictures of the faces of their family members on a daily basis performed better on memory tests than those who didn’t.
Revisiting Old Skills
Various studies suggest that trying to use skills that were once a part of everyday life could help to improve memory loss for older adults. The study involved older adults who were given a series of memory tests. At the end of each test, they were asked to recall the steps for a task that they would have performed regularly when they were younger. It includes things such as tying a bow tie, navigating a supermarket, or using a television remote.