Perhaps you’ve started to notice your elderly relative is growing more forgetful. They may have a hard time remembering where they put their cell phone, or they forget about an appointment on Wednesday. It’s definitely a sign of aging, and not necessarily a warning that something more serious, like dementia, is happening. If their doctor has given them a clean bill of health, and you want to help your aging relative stay sharp and reduce the number of forgetful incidents, there are many things you, family members, and senior care assistants can do to help.
Create a Routine.
One of the simplest ways to combat growing forgetfulness is to create a routine for the day and the week that don’t require much effort to retrieve. Examples of this include setting up recurring events on the same day of the week, such as doing laundry every Tuesday and expecting the senior care aide to come every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Hair appointments or doctor visits can be set on the same date every month as well.
Daily routines are easy to map out using a calendar or white board. You and your elderly relative can write down events that are scheduled in the coming days or weeks. All it takes is a daily check of the white board for a reminder of what’s coming up. Technologically savvy seniors can also benefit from electronic reminders and day planners on their computers, cell phones, and in-home digital assistants.
Sharpen Cognitive Ability.
Studies show that seniors who engage in “exercising” their mind are more likely to delay age-related forgetfulness. Memory-challenging games like cards, chess, and even board games can keep seniors sharp. Active reading, crossword puzzles, and memorizing poetry are other methods. Also, starting a new hobby or activity that requires a lot of learning can keep the brain active.
When the body is healthy, the mind is more likely to be healthy as well. A good diet is key to slowing down age-related memory loss and there are several brain foods that scientists have linked to stronger memory skills. Top foods include salmon, dark chocolate, blueberries, broccoli, and avocados. Avoiding dehydration is also key to optimum memory functions. You should also check with your elderly relative’s doctor to see if any of the prescription medications they are taking may be affecting their cognitive abilities and make changes if possible.
It’s a fact that forgetfulness is a part of aging, but there are plenty of things that you, other family members and even senior care aides can do to create a helpful atmosphere that encourages elderly people to boost their brain power and strengthen memory recall. Not only will they feel more independent and increase their self-esteem, but they’ll be less likely to worry and fret about the future.
If you or an aging loved one needs senior care in Sacramento, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.