How to Help Seniors Maintain Their
Minds and Memories

In the United States, approximately 40% of people over the age of 65
experience age-related memory impairment. Memory and mental health
are closely connected. Helping seniors stay sharp can also improve their
quality of life. (NCBI)

Top Strategies for Maintaining a Healthy Memory

To maintain a healthy memory, seniors must stay mentally active. That
doesn’t have to be taxing, though! Some strategies for maintaining a
healthy memory are things seniors might already do as part of their
everyday lives.

  • Read and write regularly
  • Play games, solve riddles, and complete puzzles
  • Try learning to play an instrument or take up a new hobby
  • Take a class at a community college, university, or adult education
  • Spend time in conversation and socializing

Factors Affecting the Memory

The brain is part of the body. Seniors’ physical health will affect
cognitive function, including memory. Pay attention to factors that
affect memory, like:

Physical Activity

Exercise is good for the brain. Activity promotes
good circulation, so your mind gets the oxygen
it needs. Plus, your brain and memory both work
when you have to make coordinated motions or
follow a workout routine.

Nutrition

Brains need fuel. Research by Harvard University
shows that diets high in saturated fat can inhibit
memory, while healthy diets rich with fish,
whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are good for
maintaining a healthy memory.

Sleep and Rest

A tired brain can’t devote as much energy to
making or storing memories. Seniors should get
plenty of sleep.

Effects of Memory-Related Impairments 

Normal age-related memory loss is not as dangerous as
memory-related illnesses, but it can still impact a senior’s
quality of life. Help seniors recognize the normal effects of
memory loss so they can adapt and stay safe.
Common effects of memory loss are:

  • Misplacing items
  • Delayed critical thinking skills
  • Forgetting appointments or directions
  • Needing new information repeated in order to remember it
    (Cleveland Clinic)