Preventing Memory Loss- Exercises and Steps to Keep Your Mind Healthy

As we age, sometimes things just aren’t as sharp as they used to be. That cracking sound? It might be your knees when you bend down. 

And our memory…sometimes it feels as rusty as an old nail in the garage. 

How many of us have gotten up to go to the kitchen, only to then enter into a heated discussion with ourselves asking why we got up in the first place? That’s a humorous – and very typical experience. But less humorous is missing important appointments or special occasions like birthdays! 

While memory lapses are more common among senior citizens, they can happen at any age. However, they feel more upsetting as we age because of the looming fear it might be a sign of dementia or loss of other cognitive abilities.

Many people often consider memory loss a normal phenomenon that accompanies aging, but this isn’t biologically true. If you’re facing significant memory loss, it could be caused by more serious neurological factors.  At 25 it’s easy – and probably not harmful – to just pass it off. But later in life, it’s always a better idea to check in with a health professional just to make sure. Your private duty caregiver is best suited to diagnose the illness and create an effective treatment plan accordingly.

If you are experiencing fleeting memory loss issues with age, we have some good news. These occur due to expected shifts in the functioning of our brain matter. These shifts can slow down our cognitive abilities in our older years and interfere with memory recall. But much like physical exercise to keep the body functioning well, we can also “exercise” our brains! 

Here are some tried and tested tips on preventing memory loss:

Never Stop Stimulating Your Brain

Scientific research has proven that people who keep studying and gaining more knowledge activate brain processes that keep their minds active and stimulate communication between memory cells. No, you don’t have to go back to school, but by expressing natural curiosity in new subjects, and diving deeper into it is both fun, and mentally beneficial. Always loved history? Immerse yourself in documentaries or reading up on the history of the Roman Empire and become a mini-expert on the subject. Always wanted to learn Spanish? Now seems like a good time. Think of all those dramatic tele-novellas you can enjoy now!  All of these activities work similarly to preserve brain connections and keep your mind fit.

30-Minute Walks Each Day

You don’t have to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger to get the benefit of exercise. You also don’t need to be in tip-top shape. Did you know that walking just 30 minutes a day is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body. Physical exercise is highly evidenced to offer memory preservation. It can also help you fight against several other factors that worsen your cognitive abilities, including;

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

Recent studies have also suggested that physical activity can trigger the production of the BDNF protein, which promotes nerve cell production. This will give your memory the perfect boost to function at its best. So, you should make sure your home care assistance provider sets aside time for a daily walk.

Try to Exercise All Your Senses

The more sensory stimulation you get, the better your cognitive functioning will be, which directly relates to improved memory. When you use all of your senses, your brain becomes increasingly involved in retaining that incident in your memory. Brain imaging has shown us that paying attention to the smells and sights of a certain moment will help you remember that moment itself. So, be sure to challenge all of your senses and exercise them regularly. Pay attention to the sounds and smells around you and truly feel every passing moment. So take that cooking class you’ve always had your eye on. Or an art class.

Switch to some version of the “Mediterranean Diet”

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘you are what you eat.’ That applies here too!

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Italy and Greece back in 1960. Researchers noted that these people were exceptionally healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of many lifestyle diseases. The better your diet, the healthier your brain will be. Several studies have shown how Mediterranean diets can offer exceptional benefits to the brain structure of older adults. By requesting your care management personnel to incorporate more fruits, veggies, and fish into your daily meals, you will start to notice a clear improvement in your memory skills. 

Keep Moving

A study conducted by the Center for Brain Health in Dallas showed that seniors who engage in various physical activities throughout the day have better brain functioning. When you keep moving and stay physically busy, it helps increase the blood flow to your brain. Not only will your memory improve, but you will also notice enhanced mental health within the first few weeks.

So, instead of spending your free time sitting by the TV or playing board games, try to walk around the garden or cook up something delicious in the kitchen. As long as you stay on your feet, your memory will continue to outshine!

Spaced Repetition

We all remember having to recite our mathematical tables in school ad nauseaum. It wasn’t just to punish us. Making an effort to actively recall information, especially at times when we don’t necessarily need the information is a great way to “exercise” the brain. From the birthdays of your loved ones to personal information and appointment dates, you will be able to recall them all through spaced repetition. 

Write down the most important pieces of information you want – and might need – to be able to recall easily. These might include:

  • Birthdays of loved ones
  • The names of our loved ones and every one of the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews 
  • Your medication list
  • Any pre-existing health conditions (if you ever find yourself in a medical emergency it would be helpful to tell a medical professional if there is anything they need to know)
  • Telephone numbers (remember having to memorize those?)
  • Your social security number

Make a game of it. Quiz yourself periodically and write down your scores. Keep a journal. This will help you to gauge the “health” of your memory. If you see in your journal that you are slowly getting less and less right, that’s a signal to seek medical advice. 

There’s a reason we can all remember things from our childhood like the batting order of our favorite baseball team when we were 10, or every word to every one of our favorite songs from the hit parade when we were 16. Because we thought about it all the time. We talked about it, repeated it, and read about it. It created grooves in our memory like the grooves in an album. 

Use repetition in spaced-out intervals though, instead of cramming it in as you did during finals weeks. Repeat the information to your caregiver every two hours for it to be the most effective. 

In Conclusion 

All of these tips are designed to prevent memory loss in seniors. You should request your private duty caregiver to incorporate them into your schedule and practice them regularly. Moreover, having frequent health check-ups will also help you determine any underlying illnesses that could be messing with your memory skills. Medical conditions often reduce cognitive functioning, but the damage can easily be undone through treatment.

Consequently, older adults’ caregivers should ensure that they get tested for thyroid disease, diabetes, deficiencies, and depression at least once a year. It will allow you to catch any health conditions in their early stages to minimize the effect they could have on your memory.

The Transformative Power of Project Present Improv Training

A Day in the Life of a Caregiver at Private Home Care

Power Up Your Diet with Lion’s Mane

Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia is one of the most challenging disorders for families to navigate. It can be extremely difficult for families to see their loved ones suffer and decline before their eyes, starting with slight changes to more severe forms.

Early identification can help both sufferers and families alike to adjust to their new reality of this disease. One of the biggest challenges is that dementia affects everyone differently. There is not a “typical” case of dementia, and you don’t know exactly how it will affect your loved one. Each case can vary, depending on factors like whether the person has other diseases, their medications, and their environment.

Coming to Terms with an Alzheimer’s or Dementia Diagnosis

When a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia, you may be in disbelief or denial. It’s normal to want to make excuses for the person you love and not want to admit they have the disease. 

You may read about the typical symptoms of dementia, like forgetfulness, agitation, depression, and cognitive loss. But you may not pick up on the other symptoms that come along with this disease. Even when you understand the other symptoms, it is very easy to deny the reality of the disease. It is very important for family members to understand their loved one’s symptoms and work with them to help keep them connected and engaged.


People who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia will find that their cognitive abilities  change and they suffer from memory loss. It can start at a very minimal level and then progress quickly or wax and wane slowly. 

Dementia patients can lose the ability to perform simple tasks that were part of their daily routine. The more severe forms of Alzheimer’s can result in such loss of function in the brain that it can result in death.

Typically, the memory loss is about small things and involves short term memory. Some people may struggle to organize their thoughts when having a conversation. Or, they forget the conversation even happened. They get lost easily or can’t find where they parked their car.

It’s true that many people have these issues with their memory as they age. This can sometimes lead you to ignore the early symptoms. It’s critical to note that memory loss from Alzheimer’s and dementia gets worse over time. The memory loss from Alzheimer’s and dementia can cause people to act differently. The changes to a person’s brain can vastly affect their behavior and you might not even recognize the person they become. 

Some of the changes can include: 

  • Personality Changes: They may become apathetic. They don’t have the same taste in food and don’t care about eating or going out. Others can find themselves irritable, full of mood swings, or struggle to trust others and act socially. 
  • Anxiety: The memory loss causes anxiety. They don’t want to try and have a conversation or go anywhere because they are aware of their decline and don’t want to show others.
  • Opposition: They refuse to take showers, eat their favorite meals, or go on a drive which they used to love to do.
  • Confusion: They think they remember something that didn’t happen or insist an event didn’t happen when it did.
  • Forgetting the Basics: Forgetting names, dates, phone numbers, or directions that they used to always know.
  • Forgetting Recent Conversations: Entire conversations may be forgotten or they may forget selective statements from a conversation. 
  • Resistance to Change: They feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings and people. They don’t want to go anywhere new or be around people they don’t know.
  • Living in the Past: They go back to a happier time, when they were with their parents, or deceased spouse.
  • Depression/Isolation: Since they can no longer drive or do the things they liked to do, they tend to sit and watch television. This isolation is very dangerous since they aren’t connecting or engaging with family or friends. This leads to depression, which can lead to further physical limitations.
  • Paranoia: They start thinking you are plotting against them and wanting them to go somewhere they don’t want to go.
  • Resentment: They don’t understand their situation and blame you for taking away the freedoms they used to have.
  • Issues With Events: The bigger the event and noise level, the less they want to attend. Some forget about making it to events or appointments. In turn, it’s possible sufferers may attend events, but then forget about them. 
  • Misplacing Items: Forgetting where an item has been put, or placing an item in an unexpected location is quite common. 
  • Getting Lost: Everyone may get lost sometime, but it’s common for people with Alzheimer’s to get lost in locations that are common to them.
  • Struggles with Reasoning: Many have trouble with specific types of reasoning, like math. It’s also hard for them to complete multiple tasks at once. 
  • Odd Choices: They may make choices that are not normal for them. For example, they may dress in clothes completely opposite to the weather.
  • Isolation: Eventually people with Alzheimer’s or dementia may just lose their appetite for eating and life in general.

Alzheimer’s and dementia patients can have some or many of these symptoms.

Getting help

It is important to learn as much as you can about the disease and get support for you and your loved one. A key factor in keeping your loved one engaged and happy is providing the right setting and care so they can stay connected and avoid succumbing to the pitfalls of this disease.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia and you need support, we can help. please reach out to us for a Complimentary In-Home Assessment at our Toll-free number: (844) 785-2273.

The Transformative Power of Project Present Improv Training

A Day in the Life of a Caregiver at Private Home Care

Power Up Your Diet with Lion’s Mane