Use it or lose it

Misplaced your car or house keys? Can’t remember what you went to the store to buy? Worry not. According to experts, it’s totally natural to forget a few more things as we age. The brain, like any other part of the body, needs exercise. So, while later life changes in memory may be bothersome, it’s often simply a matter of paying closer attention and concentrating or finding ways to adjust our behaviours. Lifestyle changes such as retirement, moving, grief and medical conditions that might be temporarily affecting our ability to remember. Too much too quickly is bound to throw someone off course.

Here are a few things to keep your eye on for yourself and those in your care.

Nutritional efficacy
Adequate food and fluid intake are important to good health as well as the intake of essential nutrients and vitamins.

Drug interactions
Watch for memory deficits may come with low body weight, a history of allergies or the use of multiple medications.

Low blood sugar
According to researchers memory may appear clouded if blood sugar dips for any reason–especially when meals are skipped.

Stress anxiety or depression
Grief and loss can affect memory as well as changes in marital status, home life and work. Often when the body is not functioning well with issues like infections, kidney problems, pain and heart disease, memory could be compromised.

Helping someone remember takes time, these simple tips have proven helpful and easy to do for older adults and busy caregivers. 1) Listen carefully and focus on remembering and focus on what was said. 2) Think about what was said and you want to remember for a few seconds. 3) Repeat what you want to remember out loud. 4) Link new things to past memories. 5) Practice using new information. 6) Write it down and keep your notes close by.

And as the famous quote goes, “Blessed are those who give without remembering and take without forgetting.”

– Elizabeth Bibesco

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