Simple things you can do to ease memory loss as you age

Brain

By pH health care professionals

Some forgetfulness is to be expected as you age. But some people seem to have more memory problems than others. They may lose things often, forget about appointments and struggle to come up with words -- but they don’t quite have dementia. It’s called mild cognitive impairment. But there’s good news! A new study shows mentally engaging hobbies may help.

Nearly 2,000 participants ages 70 and up with normal cognitive function were followed for around four years. Researchers found mentally stimulating activities -- such as computer use, crafting, social activities and playing games -- were associated with a significantly decreased risk of mild cognitive impairment.

Here are some ideas to decrease MCI for older adults:

  • Read educational information online.

  • Play a challenging online game like backgammon.

  • Start or join a crafting group.
  • Learn a new craft like crocheting or knitting.

  • Volunteer in your local community.

  • Find a social group to join (walking, bowling, aqua aerobics, bingo, scrapbooking, etc.).

  • Invite a friend or family member to play a board game.
  • Try a daily crossword puzzle or sudoku.

What are some other ways to be proactive about your memory?

Working your brain like a muscle and keeping it engaged is a great step to take. But you can also promote a healthy mind with nutrition! For example, eating a cup of blueberries a day was shown to significantly improve memory in a recent study.

You should also ensure you are getting enough vitamin D and vitamin B12! Deficiencies in these vitamins have been linked to memory issues. You can get a blood test done to see if you need to supplement.

Also, be sure to get plenty of sleep and reduce stress as much as possible. This will not only improve your quality of life now, but will help protect your brain.

Lastly, many people are hesitant to bring up the first signs of memory issues with their doctor. This is understandable, but keep in mind that the cause of your memory issues may be very treatable. Be your own biggest advocate and speak up!

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, health care attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. To learn more about the pH Health Care Team, click here.

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