World Alzheimer’s Month: Memory Improvement Tips for Seniors
Published on August 5, 2022
More than 500,000 Canadians are living with a form of dementia. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the expected number of Canadians facing this and other dementia conditions will nearly double within the next eight years. In respect to these numbers, more than 65% are women over the age of 65 years.
When Is World Alzheimer’s Month?
September is World Alzheimer’s month for 2022. The first World’s Alzheimer’s Day was recognized September 21, 1994, on the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Alzheimer’s Disease International association.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects the memory, thinking, and social capabilities of a person. There are a number of factors that can affect the memory, thought, and language options of the brain.
Memory Improvement Tips for Seniors
Unfortunately, there is no hard cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The degree of symptoms varies among patients.
In preparation for World Alzheimer’s month, we’ve prepared some memory care tips for seniors that may help to improve or preserve their memory capability.
Get Enough Hours of Sleep
A well-rested sleep has been shown to stimulate the brain to retain memory. The short-term memories, which are often vague or lost with dementia, can be transformed into long-term memories that are easier to recall when the brain cells have adequate rest. Seniors who are able to sleep for six to eight hours at one time have better memory recall and the ability to remain focused the next day.
Improve Your Diet
Just as high-saturated fats and trans fats have an adverse effect on heart health, the brain cells can also be damaged with an improper diet. These cells require nourishment of mono and polyunsaturated fats to increase essential HDL cholesterol. Fruit, fish, nuts, and vegetables prevent the clogging of blood vessels, allowing more oxygen to reach the brain cells.
Check your Medications for Memory Side Effects
The same prescribed medications that are used to help heal and maintain good health can also cause damage to brain cells that affect the memory. The medications often associated with memory loss include, but are not limited to, anti-anxiety, antidepressants, sleep aids, muscle relaxants, anticholinergic, statins, and medication addressing cold and allergy symptoms.
Get Checked for Any Memory Affecting Issues
In addition to the medications that affect the brain, different medical conditions can slowly damage the memory brain cells. What may first seem like the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease can actually be caused by hormone imbalances, heart diseases, thyroid issues, stroke, tuberculosis, syphilis, blood clots, Vitamin B12 deficiency, or a brain tumour.
Avoid Isolation and Socialize
To help offset the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, it is important for seniors to remain engaged in social activities with friends and family. Keeping the brain active by having daily events to look forward to and preventing thoughts of isolation from sinking in can help. This is not to say that spending time alone is a bad thing but rather should be keep to a minimum for relaxation and meditation.
Learn New Skills That Improve Memory
Social activities to stimulate regular brain activity can include learning new skills and hobbies. Brain-training games, books, and videos are only the start. Maintain brain stimulation by trying new challenges such as learning a new language, playing an instrument, cooking, sewing, or researching the family tree.
Try Sensory Tests
Sensory testing for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease can help build the connection between brain cells responsible for memory activity. Using everyday objects and activities to prompt positive feelings through the senses can help bring the familiarity to the forefront. Our memory and emotions can be stimulated through the sight, touch, smell, or taste of foods, flowers, clothes, and pictures.
Minimize Stress and Distractions
Brain cells young and old alike can be damaged by stress and strain from interior and exterior sources. Helping Alzheimer’s patients to avoid stressors by focusing on positive outcomes can advert chunks of memory loss. The brain cannot process multitudes of information at once without adverse effects. Limit distractions and stress through simple targeted activities.
Learn About Meditation
Distraction caused by everyday life stressors can cause your mind to wander to more serious and dangerous thoughts. Meditation is one way to “shut out” the mindless noise and focus on creating a calmer environment within the brain. This type of quiet setting allows the memory cells to work properly, improving the brains ability to obtain and retain new information.
Get Regular Exercise
Performing regular exercise, such as walking, cardio workouts, or sporting action, is beneficial to the heart and to the brain cells. Seniors do not need to spend hours at a gym or run a marathon. Taking time three days a week to engage in fun but effective physical activity helps to supply the brain with sufficient oxygen. Boosting the brain function with exercise can also prevent adverse health conditions that damage brain cells.
About V!VA Retirement Communities
At V!VA Retirement Communities, we offer retirement living ranging from independent living suites to assisted living suites, respite care and trial stays. Each living condition offers customized options to suit every individual’s needs.
Our accommodations for early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia care include healthcare, daily living assistance, medication management, homemaker services, full meal preparation, companion services, and housekeeping services. With 24-hour staffing, safety, and emergency systems in place, Members and their loved ones can be assured health and safety are top priorities.
Learn about V!VA’s Mental Health Program
At V!VA Retirement Communities, our mental health program focuses on each Member’s psychological well-being. The V!VA Values Senior’s Mental Health program helps to increase awareness about mental health in seniors, provides relevant resources and education to Members and their families, and raises funds for local senior mental health charities.
Click here to learn more about our past and upcoming webinars, events, and fundraising programs.
We have locations in Barrhaven, Mississauga, Pickering, Thornhill Woods, Ancaster, Carleton Place, Oakville, and Whitby. To learn more and find out if our retirement communities are right for you or your loved one, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-888-984-8482.