If anyone would know, Harvard would. Right?! Well, they tell us that aging is not necessarily the cause of cognitive decline. Rather, there are various reasons such as brain injury, neurological illnesses or organic diseases.
Memory lapses are a normal part of aging, reflecting changes in the function and structure of the brain. These changes can slow down one’s cognitive functions. However, they have also found there are ways to protect and sharpen one’s mind.
KEEP YOUR MIND ACTIVE
I know you have heard the old adage, “you’re never too old to learn.” Exactly. Then understand that first and foremost, you must keep learning. It has been found that the higher your level of education, the better your mental function is as you get older. This seems to be due to one simple factor. If you continue to learn, then you continue to keep your mind active and that is the key. Keep you mind active.
If you have retired and no longer work, there are still a plethora of ways to keep your mind active. You may have wanted to learn French or Japanese all your life. Then by all means, learn a new language. If you like to read then why not join a book club where you can bounce around your ideas and opinions about a shared book with others. Additionally, you could start a garden project. You could even learn to specialize in growing specific types of plants such as succulents, bromeliads or roses.
ENGAGE YOUR SENSES
It is important to engage all of your senses throughout your day. Some ideas for this would be to fully enjoy the smell and taste of your meals as you prepare and eat them. Concentrate on the smells and colors and textures as you stroll through your yard or along a nature path. Take up a hobby such as ceramics or pottery so that you can engage in the combination of touching, smelling and seeing as you create your piece of art.
USE PLANNERS AND CALENDARS AS MEMORY PROMPTS
It really is okay to use planners and calendars as a memory prompt. Very busy people do it every day. As you age, it is a good practice to use a planner, calendar or your alarm system on your phone to keep up with appointments, timed activities such as baking cookies, when to take your medications or else when to get medication refills.
NOTECARDS AND OTHER PROMPTS
If you were in a classroom, you would most likely be taking notes as your instructor lectures. This is a way for you to retain knowledge. The act of writing down a thought or a piece of information you have heard is a way to prompt your memory of that subject or event. Just a few words are all that is needed. The act of writing something down that you have heard is a form of repetition which is a necessary element in the process of learning.
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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