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Memory Aids for Seniors

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a senior man does a crossword puzzle as an exercise to train memory

Transitioning into a new stage of life can bring new experiences and challenges. Memory loss and cognitive issues can be some of these challenges as your loved one ages. Finding the right community and ideal lifestyle is essential to help your loved one adjust and feel at home. 

Memory challenges can be something your loved one deals with, and learning how to help them is crucial. Let’s explore some causes of memory loss and how different memory aids can help seniors.

A Closer Look at Memory Loss

Every individual is unique, and memory loss can affect people differently. When memory loss begins affecting your loved ones, you want nothing more than to help them feel safe and supported. 

Finding the right community for their unique needs is the first step of the journey so that they can stay happy and secure. Along with their new community, a memory support lifestyle can help your loved one transition into a new stage of life while getting the assistance they need.

A memory support lifestyle offers: 

  • Professional and dementia-certified staff
  • Fully furnished apartments
  • Engagement for positive cognitive support
  • Meaningful activities to stimulate brain functions

Memory loss can appear in the form of cognitive challenges such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease—let’s take a closer look. 

Dementia

Dementia is a group of symptoms severely affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities. Dementia is caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells and their connections to the brain.

Some common cognitive signs and symptoms of dementia include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty communicating or finding words
  • Struggling with visual and spatial abilities
  • Having trouble with planning and organizing
  • Confusion and disorientation

While dementia is associated with memory loss, it’s not the sole symptom. 

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. The early signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting recent events or conversations. Unfortunately, this disease gets progressively worse and affects the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.

Some signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can include: 

  • Having trouble with familiar tasks
  • Issues with speech and writing
  • Memory loss that affects daily activities
  • Mood and personality changes

Now that we know what can cause some memory issues let’s explore memory aids that can help.

Exploring Memory Aids

Memory loss can be challenging to manage, whether it’s from cognitive challenges such as dementia and Alzheimer’s or other reasons. 

While there’s no guarantee to reverse memory loss, there are some ways you can help sharpen your loved ones’ memory.

Staying Mentally Active

Mentally stimulating activities can help keep the brain on the move and help slow the progression of memory loss. 

Engaging your loved one with games such as crossword puzzles, bridge, and chess can help keep their brains in shape. Your loved one’s new community will also provide specially designed activities to keep every day engaging and fun.

Socializing Is Key

Social interaction is crucial and often forgotten about as we age. Consistent social interactions can help ward off depression and stress, which contribute to memory loss. You should take every opportunity to get your loved ones involved in family events and encourage them to make new friends in their new community.

a group of seniors socialize over snacks and tea to keep memory sharp

Get a Good Night of Sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause problems with memory, concentration, and decision-making. Getting a good night of sleep can help stimulate the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus and contribute to a healthier lifestyle overall. 

Keep a Journal 

A journal can give you something to show others to talk about and is a great place to gather memories and mementos of adventures you’ve had in the past. 

A journal is also a great place to look back and remember significant events.

Permanent Reminders

Permanent reminders can come in various forms, including sticky notes, color codes, and signs around the home.

Having these around the house can help you remember simple tasks and remind you to take your keys, purse, wallet, or shopping list with you when you’re heading out. 

Mobile Phones & Smartphones

Of course, smartphones are an option as they offer a variety of functions. Smartphones have a built-in notes option and voice notes so you can leave yourself messages to help you remember tasks. 

Your smartphone camera can also serve as a memory aid that you can utilize quickly and efficiently. 

A Healthy Lifestyle

Memory struggles can be challenging to deal with, and you can help your loved one by providing useful memory aid options. Many memory aid options include healthy lifestyle choices, so incorporating those into your loved ones’ daily life can make a difference. 

Schedule a visit with professionals for more information and see if your loved ones’ new community meets their needs.

Ryan Donahue

Written by Ryan Donahue, Regional Vice President

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