Owners' Blog

Improve Seniors Memory

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Home Care Services Cumming GA

The University of Texas at Dallas recently completed a new research study in which they studied over 200 participants aged 60 to 90.  The results showed that seniors who tried to learn a new skill or task saw larger cognitive benefits that those who did crossword puzzles or Sudoku.  Likewise, those who were attempting to learn something new showed more mental stimulation than those who participated in a familiar activity like listening to music.

To wrap it up, it may be more productive to sharpen mental skills by learning a new language, playing a new instrument, or taking up a new hobby like painting than it is to try and beat the Sunday Crossword Puzzle.

Seniors and their in-home care providers can use the following list of tips to improve senior memory:

  • Eating a balanced diet including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, good sources of omega 3 fats and super-foods like berries and green tea.
  • Getting enough sleep; this is usually about 8 hours. If sleeping is a problem, try to solve the cause.  Do they need a new mattress?  Have they napped too late in the afternoon?  Is too much caffeine being consumed?  What else might be disturbing them?
  • Do they engage in an ample amount of social activities? Social engagement keeps the brain young and sharper for a longer time.  This could include activities at senior centers, cultural or music events in the community, even volunteer positions.
  • Staying active during the day with yoga, walking, dancing, tai chi, swimming or other favorite exercise. Physical exercise stimulates both the body and the brain.
  • Brain fitness games and other stimulating activities. Learning new skills, completing complex puzzles, etc.
  • Loud, deep laughter as often as possible. Believe it or not, it produces feel-good hormones that keep memory sharper.  Tell lots of funny jokes.  Engage in funny activities.
  • Make sure your aging loved one is kept up to date with their medical, dental, vision and hearing checkups. Keeping the body in tip-top shape and as free of disease as possible will also add vitality to the mind and increase the memory.
  • Go to a library or bookstore. Don’t just look for casual reading books; look for books that teach new skills.  Painting, juggling, knitting, fly-tying (for fly fishing), carving or learning a new language are just a few ideas to choose from.

The above tips should be fairly easy for home care services to incorporate into the elderly loved one’s life.  The entire family can also get involved and help out.  Imagine how fun it would be for the grandkids to learn a new language along with grandma.  Or how much fun the little grandkids would have learning how to tie flies for fly fishing?  Many of these activities could be used to bring family members closer together while providing a worthwhile activity.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in the home, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511