There are many mental health challenges that older adults have to deal with on a daily basis. Memory lapses are probably the most troublesome and annoying out of them all. The risk factors for memory loss include drug use, cardiovascular diseases, and cases of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in one’s family.
However, against popular belief, not everyone will experience memory loss upon getting older. In most cases, it’s the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices that we have made throughout our lives. As such, it can be prevented without any major difficulties, provided that you have the right attitude!
It might not be easy to make the necessary changes to your lifestyle, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run! We came up with a list of the ones that you might want to take into consideration. They might seem irrelevant or trivial, but in the end, they can make a huge difference.
Lower your daily sugar intake
It has already been scientifically proven that the effects of sugar on the brain can be quite devastating. According to the latest research, excessive sugar consumption can increase the risk of developing certain forms of dementia.
If you have a sweet-tooth, you may want to seriously consider cutting down on sugar. However, merely throwing chocolate and cookies out of your diet might not be enough. After all, large amounts of sugar can be found in many different kinds of foods, from fruit juice to bread.
It might seem like a daunting task, but try to keep track of how much sugar you consume every day. The vast majority of calorie counters that you can install on your smartphone can do it for you, which is exceptionally convenient and time-efficient.
Be mentally active
You can incorporate solving crossword puzzles, playing sudoku, or reading books into your daily activities. Thanks to their mind-stimulating qualities, they are incredibly beneficial to long-term brain health. As a result, they might help you keep memory loss at bay.
Many websites and apps offer a wide range of puzzles for free. On top of that, you can find them in almost every grocery store that you can think of.
Interacting with other people on a regular basis can really improve your mental health. It helps lower your stress levels and fight depression, both of which can increase the risk of developing dementia.
Because of that, you should seek out opportunities to have pleasant and meaningful conversations with your family members. Even a few-minutes-long phone call can be of enormous significance.
Treat chronic conditions
Most chronic conditions can have a massive impact on your general well-being, especially if they aren’t treated properly. Cardiovascular diseases, in particular, can contribute to a noticeable decline in your cognitive abilities, including memory and thinking skills.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, you should manage those conditions accordingly. In order to do that, remember to schedule regular appointments with your doctor and take the medications that they prescribed you.
According to the latest research, sleeping plays a huge role in the consolidation of memory. On top of that, it allows you to stay focused during the day, which aids your brain in the process of learning and retaining new information.
Because of that, if you want to avoid memory problems, you should get enough undisturbed, high-quality sleep every night.
Work on your organisational skills
You are more likely to remember things if you stay organized. It might seem problematic, but there are many tools that will allow you to do that with ease!
For example, if you are going shopping, make a list of things that you need to buy beforehand. You can write them down on a piece of paper or use an app like Google Keep, whichever you prefer.
All in all, memory loss isn’t something inevitable! There are many simple steps that you can take to preserve proper cognitive function, such as socializing on a regular basis or getting enough sleep every night. On top of that, those preventive measures are beneficial not only to your brain health but to your general well-being as a whole.
Many experts have pointed out that an increased risk of developing a variety of memory-related health issues, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, can be heavily influenced by our genetics. As a result, if any of your relatives suffer from memory loss, you might feel like putting up a fight against it is pointless. That’s not the case at all.
Your chances of developing dementia depend on your age, medical history, and lifestyle. Because of that, if you take good care of both your physical and mental health, the chances are that you won’t ever have to deal with any memory problems at all.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.