Tips to Improve an Elderly’s Memory LossBy Author on December 08, 2011
As we age, it is not just the body that ages but the brain does as well. This is the reason why aside from getting wrinkles and frail bodies, the elderly generation is also prone to experiencing memory loss.
Keep the Brain Exercised. Just like the body, the brain also needs to be exercised to keep it in tiptop shape. That might sound weird but lengthy and extensive studies have shown that giving the brain a good workout can help improve memory and prevent or, at least, slow down the process of memory loss in elderly patients. How can exercise be done? Well, games that require the use of memory are typically used to help exercise the brain. Also, certain activities such as painting or writing can help exercise the brain as well.
Keep the Body Fit and Healthy. A healthy body also helps in making sure that the brain is healthy. Not too many people realize that having enough sleep and keeping stress at bay can go a long way in keeping the body and the mind healthy. During the deepest stages of sleep, key memory enhancing activities are being undergone by the brain. Thus, sleeping and not just having a short nap is essential for the brain’s well-being as well. Stress has a way of destroying brain cells. Better make sure to keep the elderly patient from experiencing chronic stress.
Keep Food and Diet Healthy. Exercising, sleeping well, and avoiding stress will all be in vain if the patient continues on an unhealthy diet, eating food that could damage brain cells. It is best to include brain-boosting foods in the diet. Just make sure that these do not interfere or interact with medications that the elderly could be taking.
- Increase intake of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants such as broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, and other green leafy vegetables or watermelon, mangoes, apricots, cantaloupe, and other colorful fruits.
- Limit eating foods with saturated fats such as whole milk, cheese, butter, and red meat.
- Increase intake of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as sardines, herring, tuna, salmon, halibut, and other fatty fishes. Soybeans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and certain vegetable oils are also rich in Omega-3.
Keep Elderly from Drinking Too Much Alcoholic Beverages, Overdosing on Medications, or Using Recreational Drugs. Limit red wine intake to 1 glass per day for women and 2 glasses for men. Too much alcohol consumption can actually damage brain cells. It is also important to avoid using recreational drugs or overdosing on medications. The latter is often the case in elderly patients who forget that they had already taken the dose so that they drink more doses than necessary.
Allow the Elderly to Socialize and Have Fun. Extensive research studies have shown that memory can also be improved through socialization and having fun. When the elderly patient is happily laughing along with friends and family, the activity tends to stimulate the brain. This is the kind of brain boost that goes along with the “laughter is the best medicine” adage. There are many ways that the elderly patient can socialize. It would also be a good idea to expose him or her to other people in the same age bracket. Thus, if the elderly wants to join poker or bridge clubs, by all means, allow it. Just make sure to have someone accompany the elderly for assistance.
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