As you age, remember forgetfulness is not an indicator of cognitive decline. It means you need to stay on top of the game by adding a variety of memory skills to daily routines. Staying sharp in the senior years is not unreasonable; in fact, it is a necessary element to keep the mind active and alert to the world around you.

Memory changes are frustrating and even the best find it troublesome recalling names or dates. The good news is there are many ways to combat cognitive loss well into the Golden years. If you are seeking ways to increase memory function, follow these proven tips to keep the mind sharp and stimulated.

Stay Faithful to Yourself

Never stop believing in yourself! This is true no matter what age you are. Staying positive is an important key to living a fulfilling life. Some may assume Assisted Living or Senior Retirement Communities signal the loss of independence. Myths coinciding with aging tend to go hand-in-hand with stereotypical memory loss. It is normal to experience periodic memory issues. If the over generalized term “senior moment” is used as a constant excuse, it becomes a crutch. Often the result becomes the self-fulfilling prophecy; decreasing motivation to sharpen memory skills. Staying true to yourself when entering the senior years is essential to keeping a sharp mind.

Never Stop Learning

Even with a formal education background, learning should continue as you age. Find new ways to add to your skill set or educational development. According to Harvard Health Publications, “A higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age. Experts think advanced education may help keep memory strong by getting a person into the habit of being mentally active. Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them.”

Create your bucket list and begin checking the items off by taking a workshop or learning a new skill with a friend. Volunteering is a great way to keep your mind active and engaged. Increasing your cognitive abilities and providing a sense of gratitude assists with memory expansion.

Keep your Senses Engaged

The older we become the more important it is to engage as many senses as possible when learning a new skill. The more intellects involved throughout the learning process, the better a brain becomes at retaining memories. The Harvard Medical School shares one study where extensive cognitive brain research proved visual memories become more accurate when memories are accompanied by smells, particularly pleasant smells.

Stay Organized, Make Lists and Prioritize

Being more organized relieves the stress associated with finding lost items or trying to remember what time to meet your friends for lunch. Make lists, keep a schedule and designate specific places for your routine items. Remembering where you put your glasses will take less mental energy than in the past. This will keep your mind sharp and ready for the important aspects of daily life. Making a list and checking it twice is not just for Santa Claus.

Senior living often provides easy and accessible options for transitioning into a different lifestyle. Assisted living communities provide a beautiful place for quality of life and to expand horizons and skill sets. At Bridge to Better Living® we strive to give one-on-one guidance to help transition into a new era of life, one with an abundance of possibilities and experiences to cherish. Embracing these needs as you age does not have to be a lonely experience. Moving to a Senior Living Community should be welcomed, embraced and cherished. Bridge to Better Living® is there for individuals and families who seek the absolute best quality of life in senior living. Placement is our Passion!

Simon, H. B. (2011 May). 6 Simple Steps to Keep Your Mind Sharp At Any Age. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/6-simple-steps-to-keep-your-mind-sharp-at-any-age.