Many of us may experience memory slip-ups in our lives. This is particularly true for the elderly. Walking into the room and forgetting the reason why you entered or forgetting an appointment or a phone call happens to the best of us. But, when an elderly person starts forgetting names, regular activities, places, or important events that clearly is a matter for concern. However, you need not just surrender to the inevitable decline in cognitive abilities. There is a lot you can do to improve memory and slow down the effects of memory loss.
Exercises & Steps to Increase Mental Activity
Memory blips are the typical sign of aging, but it does not always lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia. Mental exercises and brain games can improve neuroplasticity, defined as the brain’s ability to adapt, change, and react to various situations happening in life. Studies show that the more you engage in mental activities, the healthier you keep neuroplasticity – and the more it improves the mind’s learning, remembering, and recalling ability.
Mental exercises are divided into two categories: skill development and skill retaining. Learning new things every day is best to keep the mind sharp and developing. These exercises are important because elderly people often struggle to recall the developed skills, which must be retained to lead a quality life.
Here are some exercises and steps you can take to prevent memory loss and enhance mental activity:
- Learn New Skills – Try the Complex Ones
Trying and learning new complex skills is the sure-shot technique for a brain workout. Find out a topic or skill that interests you or your loved one the most and encourage them to take a few lessons or to read more about it. Not only can this help boost mental power, but it also has very positive effects on motivation and the enjoyment of life.
Activities like painting, pottery class, music and other activities and hobbies can help maintain mental skills and foster a positive attitude about life.
- Test Your ‘Recall’ Skills
‘Recall’ is an imperative mental factor that most people forget to add to their mental exercise checklist. Choose stress-free ways to sharpen your mental skills such as, leaving the shopping list home sometimes, and try to memorize everything without it. Also, sharing some childhood memories help people to sharpen their memory and visualization skills. Even watching quiz shows on TV exercises your recall skills.
- Utilize Your Senses
Our senses have a connection with the mind’s ability to learn and recall things. Utilizing our senses as a part of mental exercise is a great way to exercise the brain. You need not go anywhere, as there are ample ways to test senses inside and around the home. Wander the garden or kitchen to enjoy new smells, tastes, and touches. Sensual pleasures do not need to stop just because of age!
- Exercising Helps – Both Mind & Body
While focusing on mental exercises, don’t forget to give your body a light workout. Exercising keeps both mind and body in sound shape by improving the mood, reducing stress, and supplying oxygen to the brain for healthier neuroplasticity. Regular workouts and walks also reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular ailments.
Memory problems can be challenging for anyone, but particularly for the elderly. But, with the proper exercise of the mind and the body, these issues can be ameliorated in many cases. These tips won’t prevent Alzheimer’s or Dementia, but they can help with those every day memory problems that millions of people have as they get older.