One common misconception with memory loss is that it is a symptom of aging. While it is true that older adults are more commonly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, memory decline is not necessarily related to aging. The decline in cognitive function can be caused by disorders, illness or injury, and it can affect anyone at any age. But there’s good news: keeping your mind sharp is easier than you may believe. Here are some simple strategies to fight cognitive decline:
Challenge Your Brain
Challenging your brain can be fun! This task is just as easy as the preventative measures listed above. Reading a book, doing a daily Sudoku or crossword puzzle, taking up woodwork, writing creatively, listening to music, and meditation are all examples of challenging your brain. All you need to do is keep it stimulated. But be careful: make sure that you do not overstimulate your brain. Excess is bad with most things, and this is no exception; space out your activities and make sure you give your brain a break.
Learning a new language or reading educational materials can sharpen your brain. This activity goes right along with the previous ones. The challenging aspect of learning new things is great for your mind and for keeping it sharp. If you don’t feel like learning French or reading a medical journal, try learning new recipes or even a new instrument.
Use All Your Senses
Memories are tied heavily to our senses. Most people can recall the scent of their mother’s perfume, or the taste of their grandmother’s famous recipe. In fact, research has shown that memories can best be recalled by engaging a sense of touch, smell, taste, sight and sound, or a combination of the senses. Engaging all of your senses throughout the day has been shown to potentially ward off memory decline.
Repeat What You Want To Know
This is a trick most people learn in grade school. Repetition is a great way for memorizing formulas and statistics, but it is also a great way to train your mind to easily remember key information.
There are so many other things you can do that will enhance the sharpness of your mind. At Clark-Lindsey, residents can always find a puzzle to work on, an academic lecture taking place, a new book to read on the bookshelf or stimulating conversation over a cup of coffee. Don’t lose hope over a set of misplaced keys; keep your mind stimulated and you will find your memory strengthened.