The memory loss people experience during aging has a significant impact on their well-being. While it might start as something of a nuisance, it can soon affect their ability to do activities and connect with others. Thus, providers of home health care in California advise seniors to focus on improving their memories to offset this.
But how can you do it on your own? Let’s take a closer look at this subject and find out the various strategies you can employ.
Understanding Memory Decline In Seniors
The first thing that we need to deal with is getting a better idea of how memory loss occurs in aging. A common misconception here is that all forms of memory loss are just normal signs of aging.
However, that is not always the case. As it turns out, there are types of memory loss that are expected as you grow older. But other forms might hint at more serious cognitive issues.
Some of the instances that are considered as just normal forgetfulness associated with aging include:
- Occasionally forgetting where you left things
- Forgetting the names of acquaintances from time to time.
- Occasionally forgetting something that you are supposed to do
- Becoming easily distracted
- Not being able to retrieve information fast enough
Note that different people might exhibit these signs differently. Some might not even show all of these signs at the same time. Nevertheless, they are all considered normal if they do not impede your ability to do different activities.
When Should You See A Doctor?
This is a common question on the minds of seniors and their relatives. As mentioned, the signs can vary from time to time, making it hard to determine the boundaries. Nevertheless, there are some situations that you should not overlook, such as:
- Asking the same question over and over
- Getting lost in a familiar place
- Having trouble following directions
- Becoming more confused about people, time, and places
- Not being able to groom oneself properly
In addition to these, you might find the above normal signs happening a lot more frequently than they used to. These point to the memory loss happening faster than it is supposed to.
Such accelerated memory loss is often considered an early warning sign of a cognitive disorder. Dementia is the most common form of mental disorder that can arise from memory-related problems.
There are different types of dementia that can occur in older people. One of the most common is Alzheimer’s disease. While often associated with progressive memory loss, Alzheimer’s also results in a significant deterioration of cognitive functions. That results in behavioral changes. Eventually, the patient might also have difficulty speaking, swallowing, or walking.
How Seniors Can Train Their Memory
With all of these concerns, it will help seniors to train their memory. This even if they think that theirs is still sharp. There is a multitude of brain exercises that they can try out. What’s great about these is that your elderly loved ones do them right at home.
Word games are the most common memory exercises that seniors can jump into. Crossword puzzles are popular and available anywhere. Such games can help seniors recall different words and even learn new words.
Additionally, these puzzles are a great way for them to relax. You might not realize it, but relaxation also plays an essential role in memory training. During this time, they can release all the tension and clear their minds. That helps them better recall different stuff.
This is another fun mind game that the elderly can play while relaxing. The game objective is to fill a drawn grid with numbers 1 to 9 so that each vertical, horizontal, and diagonal line contains all of the digits. It trains your memory by getting you to recall the pattern of numbers that you have arranged.
Beyond that, you also get to use your analytical skills, as you try to sort out all the numbers into the correct order. There is even strategy and problem-solving in play here. That gives you full brain training.
This one is perhaps one of the most popular games for older adults, mainly to socialize with each other. But it also turns out to be a great memory game. The idea here is to train your brain to recall all the numbers rolled and the pattern you are forming.
And there are more to bingo games that can help improve your memory. In particular, it helps hone your senses, mainly:
- Hearing: You get to tune on the sounds of the numbers being called out.
- Sight: You learn to spot a specific number from the jumbled digits faster.
- Touch: You get to train your hand coordination in using markers to dab each number.
These also help you hone your memory as you become more alert to the different stimuli during sessions. Because of that, even providers of home health care in California sometimes hold bingo sessions for their older wards.
Outside of games, there are other exercises that you can do to help jog up your memory. One of these is PQRST. This is useful for helping your elderly loved ones recall written information. It consists of the following steps.
- Preview: Skim the document to get the most important parts
- Questions: Come up with questions about the points you want to learn.
- Reread: Go through the document again.
- Study: Understand the answers to the questions you listed.
- Test: Quiz yourself about the answers to the question and the other info you learn.
Your elderly loved one can incorporate this exercise into their reading routine. In this case, guide them in how to do this so they can better adapt to the exercise.
This might come in as a new one for seniors. But brain yoga is a good exercise that seniors can get into. The idea here is to train your body to improve your motor skills. That will then help you improve your mental faculties.
Many exercises fall under this category. The following is a simple one that you can quickly get into.
- Make a fist in your right hand.
- Raise your thumb and hold the position for a few seconds
- Make a fist with your left hand and raise your pinkie finger
- Repeat these exercises a few times, alternating each action in each hand
You and your loved one can do this as a morning routine. Once they get accustomed to the exercise, you can change some steps to train their memory more.
The Best Home Health Care In California Can Help Boost Your Memory
Because of its importance in senior care, Amavi has made memory training an integral part of our program. Once your loved ones sign up, we provide them with a comprehensive set of activities that will help them improve their memories significantly. Get the best home health care in California for them by contacting us today.