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Preserving and Building Your Memory, Part 2
Preserving and Building Your Memory, Part 2
Two weeks ago we posted the first blog post of our two-part series on the importance of preserving and building your memory as you age. Like your muscles, your brain needs regular workouts to stay healthy and fit as you age.  Check out our previous blog post to read more about the benefits of exercising your brain.  This week, we wanted to share more tips and tricks on how to keep your brain healthy, active and engaged.

Here are 10 tips on creative ways to engage your brain:
  1. Test your recall: Make a list – try making a list of grocery items, chores that need to be done around the house, or family birthdays. Memorize the list once it’s written. Wait about an hour, and then test your memory and try to remember all the things you wrote on your list.  This will force your brain to keep your memory healthy.
  2. Do math in your head: add up the cost of grocery items, clothing items, calculate someone’s age, or count change in your head, without writing anything down or without the use of a calculator.  You can make this more difficult by walking at the same time.
  3. Get out of routine: Switch seats when you sit at the table – your brain can benefit from even then new view at the table and even reaching for salt and pepper in a different location. While grocery shopping scan the shelves, pick up a new product you’ve never seen before and read the label. Getting yourself out of routine and engaging your brain differently is good!
  4. Get creative: Sculpt using play dough, paint (even if you’re not an artist), draw, color in an adult coloring book, use craft kits or jewelry making kits, put together a puzzle, try woodworking, or making floral arrangements or DIY crafts. 
  5. Do things upside-down: Don’t worry, we aren’t suggesting you stand on your head. Turn your watch upside down – this will force your brain to really think each time you look at it.  Turn the remote upside down when you use it, turn photos of family or friends upside-down.  This forces different parts of your brain to kick-in and analyze and interpret the images in front of you.
  6. Mix up your reading: read a variety of material including comic strips, novels, and the newspaper. If you or your loved one are experiencing vision loss, books on tape are another great alternative, check your local library for audio book availability.  National Public Radio stations across the nation provide Reading for The Blind programming. Volunteers come into the station and read local and national newspapers, magazines and books. Check your local NPR station for specific programming.
  7. Play Games: Any games! The more variety, the better! Some games you might try are monopoly, chess, electronic games, board games like checkers, card games like rummy or solitaire, dominoes, bingo, etc. If games aren’t your thing, try crossword puzzles, word searches, or adult coloring books. Games challenge your brain to think critically, and can be social, too!
  8. Get social: Have company over for dinner, join a book club at your local library, attend a support group, check out a water aerobics class, try an art class or gardening class, invite children and teens over, or invite a friend and their pet to keep you company – engaging in activity and conversation with other people is good for your brain, and fun for you!
  9. Try Meditating: Our brains are hard-wired to constantly be thinking, and focusing on meditation and quieting the mind can be hard work! Even meditating for just a few minutes a day can be helpful for your brain.
  10. Learn something new: learning a new sport, activity (perhaps knitting or how to play chess), or learning a new language requires focus, concentration, and working your brain muscles in new ways.

Our caregivers are trained in companionship and mental stimulation for our clients we work with. Give us a call to see how we can help.
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