As our parents’ age, we often start to worry about their physical and mental health as well as their happiness and well-being. A big concern can be memory, especially if you’ve already spotted some signs of memory loss and cognitive decline. There are some great ways that you can help your loved one to stay alert and mentally active, which can boost their memory and reduce symptoms. Here’s a look at some of them.
Is Memory Loss Normal?
Some memory loss is normal at any age. Even as young adults, many of us find that we’ve forgotten elements of our childhood, or why we’ve gone into a room. As we get older, it’s normal to become more forgetful, in part simply because there’s more to forget, but also because our brains and memory centers are starting to age, as well as our bodies.
But there is a difference between normal memory loss and something to worry about. If you are worried about your parent, you should seek medical help and consider assisted living communities with memory care options in Calabasas, CA.
Can Memory Loss Be Avoided?
Memory loss, even of the normal kind can’t be completely avoided. But it can be minimized. These activities aren’t miracle cures, but they can help your loved one, by exercising their minds and memories, giving them a workout to keep them healthy.
Learn Something New
When we’re very young, there’s a lot to learn. As we get older, however, learning slows, perhaps with little bursts when we take on new jobs or find new hobbies. This means that we don’t use those parts of our mind as often. Learning a new skill can be a great way to reduce memory loss. Fun things to learn include cooking or baking, yoga, a new language, or how to do a new craft, like knitting.
Rediscover Old Hobbies and Interests
When we’re young and busy, hobbies that we love can get left behind. Rediscovering them in retirement when we have time for them again is a great way to boost memory, not just by rediscovering the skill, but also by enjoying the old memories that come with it. Ask your parents about hobbies they used to enjoy, to help them.
Make New Friends
Making new friends is a fantastic way to boost memory. It gives you the chance to discover new hobbies and interests, to enjoy varied conversations around new subjects, and to share stories and memories. If your elderly parents are worried about making friends, try to encourage them to join groups, or to spend more time at places like the library in their local community.
Getting outdoors is an effective memory boost in several ways. First, it’s a treat for your senses, with different smells, sounds, and colors to look at, textures to explore, and even fresher air to taste. This can stimulate different parts of the brain. Being outdoors can also stimulate creativity and help us to get our blood pumping. Try walking with your parents or encouraging them to spend more time in their garden.
If we don’t use our muscles, they become weak and soft, and our brains are the same. These activities offer a mental workout that can help to keep the mind young and alert.