One of the greatest issues facing seniors today is that of memory loss. I spoke with a senior friend about this, and she told me that in her experience, it seems to have a direct correlation with age. She is 75 years old, and has had frequent bouts of memory loss in the past few years. She informed me of a few suggestions that have helped her cope with this new facet of aging and senior living.
Anna is my senior friend’s name. She has been living in the same house since age 18, and going about the same routine since that time, as well. But now things are different at age 75. Things that used to seem so easy are now a bit challenging. Memory loss is one of these challenges that she deals with on a daily basis, but she is not about to let it get the better of her.
Many has been the time when she walks into a room and forgets why she entered that room. She used to be able to simply retrace her steps, to recapture her thoughts, and then proceed with her errand. Now, things are not quite as simple. So to combat this commom occurence, she makes definitive “to do” lists, and then follows them by doing one thing at a time. She says that direct focus on one thing at a time is quite helpful in assisting her to reach her daily goals. Lists are the fabric that hold her ideas all together, and without them, she would be lost. That is why she has also added in journaling to her routine.
She carries around a small spiral bound notebook with her, with a pen attached. When she goes about her daily routine, and has a certain thought, or an idea that she wants to explore, she quickly jots it down in her notebook, and then it is not forgotten. At night, she can come back to her notebook, and review her random thoughts for the day, adding notes, or circling those items she finds most important, and then carrying those over onto her list for the following day. She feels that this is also a great mental exercise, allowing the mind to open up and pursue new thoughts and ideas. Once Anna starts her mental engine, and really lets the floodgates open to ideas, she finds that she is sharper and clearer for it, almost like how dreaming at night cleanses the mind.
Another suggestion that Anna insists is a must for combatting memory loss, is daily exercise. Not necessarily hard, strenuous exercise, but just enough to breathe some fresh air and feel great. Light walking, gardening, and light level exercise DVDs are her choices to feel great physically. She noted that when she misses a few days of exercise, she can actually see the results in her thinking, and feels somewhat “cloudy” again. Keeping the exercise level going at a constant rate keeps her mind much sharper.
Memory loss is especailly prevalent in seniors, but it can affect a person at any age. The suggestions given above are helpful and apply to everyone, regardless of what your birth certificate tells you. Daily exercise, lists, and journaling are all great ways, at any age, to keep your mind clear and keep ideas flowing freely. A busy, active mind, is a great defense against memory loss. Take Anna’s suggestions to heart and implement them into your life to improve your quality of thinking, living, and memory.