A decline in memory is one of the most observable signs of aging and cognitive problems. A good memory is a sign of mental clarity, and when you can cook recipes off the top of your head, remember people’s names easily, or shop off a mental grocery list, it’s rather impressive.
People want to improve their memory and delay its natural decline, but what are the best ways to do it? You have some ways to take control of your brain health and help your memory.
Keeping your mind engaged by socializing, playing brain games, eating healthy, and staying active, can all help improve your working memory.
What Is Working Memory?
Working memory is a term typically used interchangeably with short-term memory. The small amount of information or thoughts you can hold temporarily can be used to complete executive function tasks. In contrast, long-term memory contains the knowledge accumulated throughout your life.
In psychology, working memory has been connected to information processing, comprehension, problem-solving, and learning. These briefly held thoughts can be called upon and manipulated mentally. It’s how you manage to do basic addition and subtraction in your head but can’t retain extensive strings of digits long enough to add them up.
You use working memory to read, write, plan, organize, follow multi-step directions, and stay on task. If you can train your working memory to improve and preserve the skill, it could help delay cognitive decline.
How Does Working Memory Change Over Time?
Experts know that over a lifetime, working memory changes. Working memory is still developing in childhood, and kids have to learn simple recall functions, such as committing their telephone number to memory.
Age-related decline becomes common in older adults as the demands of working memory require active processing of the information in passive mental storage becomes more complex. But what can older adults do to improve the function of their working memory?
How to Improve Working Memory
Severe, biologically-based dementia such as Alzheimer’s can’t be cured or treated. Managing decline with professional live-in support from memory care at Maumee Pointe Assisted Living can allow expert staff to help your loved one work their mental muscles safely.
But for those who want to delay the onset of cognitive decline, there are steps you can take to improve working memory.
Play Brain Games
Brain training through games and puzzles like crosswords, sudoku, or word-recall games may help strengthen memory. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities that provide a challenge to your brain can help make neural connections that can support healthy cognitive function.
Make Social Connections
Research suggests that social isolation is related to increased memory decline. Nurturing friendships, participating in community events at Maumee Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care, and enjoying time with family positively affect the aging brain.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Choosing foods high in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation by reducing oxidative stress on the body caused by free radicals. Fruits, vegetables, tea, and other foods can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in aging adults.
Reducing sugars can help improve your overall health, manage your weight, and can also help improve memory. Those who consume more sugar may have reduced brain volume in the area of the brain that stores working memory, so limiting high-sugar diets can improve brain function.
At Maumee Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care, your loved one can get a balanced, nutritious, and delicious diet to help support brain health and manage health conditions.
Exercise is necessary for cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight, regulating sleep patterns, and it can benefit your working memory. Moderate exercise in older adults may increase the size of the hippocampus in the brain and improve cognitive ability. Additionally, exercise may help enhance the secretion of neuroprotective proteins, increasing brain health.
When Memory Declines, Choose Maumee Pointe Assisted Living
When deteriorating memory makes independent living dangerous, memory care is the answer. Maumee Pointe Assisted Living & Memory Care has a professional staff dedicated to offering personalized care to your loved one. The older adult in your life will have a safe home for socialization and events, and access to amenities they need.
Visit our community for a tour, meet staff and residents, and explore our available apartments to find comfort in your loved one’s new home.