Occasional forgetfulness is normal, especially as we get older, but actual memory loss is another problem entirely. More than simply misplacing your keys, memory loss can make it difficult to perform daily tasks or to navigate while driving. It can also lead to confusion about time, people, and places.
While many people consider this to be an ordinary part of the aging process, the reality is that it does not necessarily have to be. The brain is like a muscle in the sense that it must regularly be exercised and stimulated or it will begin to atrophy. With that in mind, there are a few activities that, when performed regularly, can help to prevent memory loss.
One thing to keep in mind is that the brain is not separate from the body; it’s part of the body, and regular physical activities will improve the health of the body holistically, including the brain. This doesn’t mean you need to continuously be engaging in hard exercise, but going for an occasional walk or performing regular aerobic exercise will help to increase blood flow to the brain. Many physical activities also have a mental component to them. Outdoor games and sports have an element of problem-solving that can have a powerful effect on the health of your brain.
Another crucial way to prevent memory loss is to stay social as you get older. For many seniors, social interaction tends to fall by the wayside as they become isolated from the rest of the world. However, social isolation has many negative effects on the body and mind, including depression, which can be a major cause of memory loss. You should continuously remain social regardless of your age.
One way to ensure that you can do this is to look for a dedicated senior living community such as the Mission at Agua Fria. Communities such as this ensure that you have access to the regular socialization that is so crucial to your mental and emotional health.
Art and Music Therapy
There have been many studies performed on the efficacy of both art and music for the peak functioning of the brain, and dedicated senior living communities will utilize both as part of their memory care programs. It has been found that music can help the brain tap into memories that might be otherwise inaccessible. You have probably experienced this yourself: anytime you have heard a song that brings with it a flood of memories from many years earlier.
Art therapy brings its own benefits with it as well. For thousands of years, art has been one of the most important ways that human beings communicate with each other, and it has been found that regularly creating your own art helps those afflicted with memory loss to continue to communicate with the world. While memory loss may have a negative impact on your ability to interact with the world, it doesn’t actually impact your creativity. With the help of art therapy, you can utilize that creativity to keep your cognitive functions sharp at any age.