12 Activities Seniors Can Participate in to Keep Their Mind as Sharp as Ever

Old age comes with several health complications including forgetfulness. As we grow, the brain becomes weaker making it difficult for us to remember things. Have you ever experienced going into your room to search for a particular thing but you end up forgetting what you are looking for? Also, there are times you will be holding your pen in your left hand but end up searching for it.

[ photo; pexels.com by lisa fotios ]

Before I continue, let me state that forgetfulness can happen to anybody no matter the age. However, it is most common among seniors. Causes of this include structural changes and functions of the brain. The changes can slow cognition, making it difficult to remember things easily.

As a result, most elders find it difficult to remember common things including names of family and friends. The situation can be very upsetting and frustrating. But, do you know that there are ways to keep the minds of seniors as sharp as ever? Yes, seniors can improve their memory by participating in certain activities. Now here are 12 activities seniors can partake to keep them sharp.

1. Continue Learning

According to expect, having a higher level of education improves memory, and even at your old age, you can still have a sharp cognition. Learning and having to remember what you’ve learned is a form is brain exercise. This is because, through learning, you awaken the brain from its sleep or inactiveness to function. 

Since continuing education keeps the brain sharp and active; a high-level learner may hardly experience a weak memory old age. So challenge your brain by putting it to work with learning new things all the time. Read extensively and on diverse subjects by joining a book group. You can also pick up a new hobby by learning how to play a musical instrument like memorizing the proper order of the strings of a guitar, play chess, puzzle, or try developing some creative ideas.

2. Regular Exercise

Exercising does not only improve or develop the physical body but can also help in brain functionality. According to research published by Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, memories consolidate over time. It states that our experiences after learning can determine what we will remember. The research shows that women who exercise for five minutes after learning have improved memory. 

This means having regular exercise can effectively boost your mind. It works by first enhancing blood flow to the brain and enhances the growth of new blood vessels to the brain. In addition, post-exercise tiredness helps you to have enough rest, which restore the body. Another study published by the National Institute of Health shows that moderate exercise like brisk walking could protect the brain of the elderly. Exercising can “increase the size of a brain region involved in memory formation.”

3. Seek Help

Most memory loss among seniors is caused by Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you are in such situation, then seeking help from centres that offer assisted living is the best idea. Such centres can help your aged family member live a fulfilled life while improving on their memory. Most of these assisted living facilities have well-trained personnel and the needed resources to care for the seniors with memory related problems.

4. Have a Good Rest

The lack of a good night sleep can have adverse effects on our memory. After a hard day's works during which the brain was actively functioning, you need to sleep well to restore the body to normality. Sadly, this hardly happens, because the older we get, the less sleep we get due to one thing or the other. 

Some of us even bring work home and work deep into the night. But this is not what nature prepared the body for. You should, therefore, have a good rest at least 7-hour sleep. Take away any form of disturbances while going to bed. Your phone shouldn’t be close to you and stop fidgeting with it while in bed. You should have regular hour sleep, and there shouldn’t be must light and noise in the room.

Another important thing is checking the quality of your mattress. Some mattresses add up to your tiredness/stress because it is of bad quality. As you continue to improve your sleep, you will reduce the rate of memory decline.

5. Play Brain Games

Playing brain games improves memory and cognition. These games put the brain to work because a lot of thinking is needed in the process of playing. As you continue to play such games, they improve your cognition and make you sharp. Such games are therefore helpful for the aged who have started experiencing a decline in their thinking ability. Playing games like chess, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzle, and the tray game among others will help promote concentration and relieve you from forgetfulness.

6. Eat Foods the Improves Memory

The expression “you are what you eat” and “what you eat is what you become” is not just a cliché. The fact is what you feed the body produces the outcome you see physically. You don’t eat junk food in night and expect not to have a bloated stomach. This underscores the need to eat feed the body with what we want it to become. 

To have a sharp memory ability, consider adding a lot of antioxidants to your diets. Eat much green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, whole grain, and fish. Research has shown that people who eat incorporate fruits and vegetables in their food experience a lower risk of memory loss.

7. Stop Multitasking

We all love to multi-task sometimes to get some work done quickly. It is not a bad thing but not suitable for the aged. As we grow, our alertness reduces, and therefore multitasking during this period puts more stress on the brain. Research has shown that you can lose focus along the line while multitasking. 

The study also found that multitasking affects productivity by almost 40 percent. Considering this research, it is imperative that we cut off multitasking as we grow. Concentrate on one thing, get it well done, and move to the others. 

8. Rely on all your senses

Using more of sense organs in learning is believed to improve cognition. If the brain is to forget something you just learned, the other senses involved in the process could prompt the brain to remember. For example, if you forgot how to play a particular musical composition you learned on the piano, the movement of your fingers and leg can help you to recollect the keys.  An activity like sculpturing involves most of our senses.

Consequently, sculptures hardly forget a process no matter their age. If you can’t pick up such an activity as a hobby, try using most of your senses in your daily activities. This will surely boost your memory ability.

9. Mnemonic can help You

If you are new to this, mnemonic a tool or learning technique that helps you consume and remember information in a significant amount. It can be in any form including rhythm, song, phrases, acronym, and images. 

An acronym like VIBGYOR (Violet Indigo Blue Green Yellow Orange Red) helps you remember rainbow colours. Also, EADGBE (Elephants and Donkeys Grow Big Ears) is for remembering the proper order of the strings of a guitar. You can even devise your own mnemonic to help you remember things you quickly forget.

10.   Never Say Never

The brain works extraordinarily that once you believe in something and it sinks into the brain, it begins to affect you. It gives credence to the saying that, what you think is what you become. Installing negativity into the brain can be very dangerous to your presence and future state. When you think that you will have a weak memory as you age, that will inevitably happen. 

People who harbour such believe usually experience memory decline as they age. Shun all forms of stereotypes associated with aging and believe that no matter your age you will have a sharp mind. Your belief cannot work in isolation, so you also need to inculcate good and healthy lifestyle.

11. Take Things Easy on Yourself (Reduce your thinking)

It is very normal to forget things sometimes, and things can be compounded as you grow. However, trying to maintain good cognition does not mean you should force yourself into remembering things. Don’t feel bad for forgetting your grandsons birthday or where you placed a document. 

Take things easy as you work on your memory. Take advantage of tools like the calendar and alarm to keep you on schedule. If you are going shopping, do a shopping list than trying to memorize everything. You can also designate a particular place at home to keep items you will need daily.

12. Repetitions

When you need to remember something badly, repeat the procedure as many times as possible. When you easily forget what you read, try reading repeatedly. The more you do this, the higher your ability to remember.

You can keep your mind as sharp as ever by practicing any of the points above. Choose one or two that suits your current situation and practice it continually. Things will fall in place naturally, as time goes on.

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