Updated: Feb 18
Our memories are an important part of our life. Memories have an impact on our personalities, thought processes and day to day life. So, I think it's natural for us to fear the possibility of experiencing memory loss or decline as we age. None of us know what the future has in store for us, but if you want, you can always choose to be proactive and take steps to improve your brain health and try to prevent memory loss. Here are a few memory boosting tips that you might want to try:
Memory loss can be caused by an underlying illness or as a side-effect of certain medications. Talk to your doctor about it and discuss possible treatment options or alternative medications.
Be wary of supplements that claim to enhance your memory. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter supplements. Also keep in mind that the word "natural" on any label does not equal "safe" or "effective".
If you're having trouble remembering things, you may not be getting enough sleep. It could be a less than optimal quality or quantity of sleep. About one third of seniors in Canada report getting less than the recommended 7 hrs of sleep. Get some pointers on good sleep hygiene here.
Regular exercise is often linked to better brain health. Exercise increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping more quickly, boosting the amount of oxygen your brain receives. This in turn could improve your memory. It could also lower your risk of getting certain diseases that can cause memory loss. Here are some great senior friendly exercise options.
Eat well. Most registered dieticians seem to agree that the best diet for a healthy brain and body is one that is based on a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, healthy fats, and whole grains. Here's my blog devoted to a balanced diet. If you have type 2 diabetes, read about healthy food options here. Also be mindful of the fact that not all food that seems to be healthy is actually healthy, some healthy foods could hurt you. Cooking healthy meals for one or two people can be challenging. Here are some tips on cooking for one or two.
Try to manage your stress levels. Mental stress and emotional distress can affect memory retrieval and formation of new memories. Meditation and mindful brain breaks are a great way to manage mental and emotional stress. Playing memory games can be a fun way to de-stress, connect with friends/family and add some brain exercise to your routine. Try new hobbies or activities that are mentally stimulating, they can be great stress busters too.
I can imagine how scary it can be for someone experiencing memory loss themselves or in a loved one, especially if they haven't been diagnosed with a medical condition. At in4MED, we can make this difficult time easier by providing you with information about your condition, connecting you to local specialists and support systems, and being there for you as your trusted health advocates. As always, feel free to connect with me or leave a comment.
Healthcare Consultant, in4MED
The author of this blog post is a Physician with over 10 years of experience working in the healthcare system as a clinician, researcher and educator. She is passionate about healthcare for older adults and strives to be a resourceful inspiration to caregivers.
*No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.