Have you ever had any of these experiences?
- You walk into a room and forget what you wanted to do.
- You want to drive somewhere but you can’t remember where you left the car keys.
- You’re shopping and you see one of your close neighbors but you can’t remember their name.
These are but a few examples of what are commonly referred to as senior moments. Many people who have these forgetful moments fear that they may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, but the fact is that almost everyone, especially starting around the age of 50, has these experiences.
Factors that can worsen memory loss are:
- Lack of sleep.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- Excessive use of alcohol.
- Loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Just as aging affects our bodies it also causes changes in our brains. Memory lapses are some of the more obvious changes that we will all experience. Although we can’t keep our brains from physically aging, we can be proactive to slow down those changes.
The following are my recommendations to keeping our brains as healthy as possible as we age:
- Concentrate pay attention and use mental images to help remember things.
- Maintain a positive attitude and continue to find purpose in life.
- Remain physically active with some form of regular exercise.
- Stimulate the brain by doing puzzles, word games, reading, and conversing.
- Maintain adequate sleep. A regular brief nap is very beneficial.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet.
- Avoid alcohol or at least limit its use.
- Get organized. Use calendars, notes and lists to jog the memory.
- Do not isolate yourself. Remain socially active with family and friends.
- Relax through yoga, meditation and prayer.
The bottom line is that we all experience occasional memory loss. This is part of the normal aging process. Senior moments usually cause only minor annoyances, occasional slips, and inconvenience, and are no cause for worry or concern. If your moments become persistent, worsen, or, interfere with daily activities, you should see your doctor so that your symptoms can be evaluated.
When it comes to caring for your brain my advice is “use it or lose it”.