By Brenda Manago, RN Manager
It’s a classic situation: you meet someone new, and moments later you’ve forgotten their name. Names, passwords, pin and telephone numbers? No way!
As I often tell residents in the assisted living facility where I work, the more you exercise your brain, the more you will remember. Here are a few recommendations to get you off to a good start:
1. Write it down. The physical act of writing information can imprint it onto your brain.
2. Relate information to what you already know. Connect new data to information you already remember, like an address of someone who lives on a street where you already know someone. Try to link new information to sight, smell and taste.
3. Visit with a neighbor. Socializing is beneficial for individuals who are at risk to develop memory loss.
4. Rehearse information you’ve already learned. Review what you’ve learned the same day you learn it, and at intervals thereafter.
5. Routine. Making lists, keeping a detailed calendar, and putting objects in the same place will help.
6. Train your brain. Mild memory loss may be prevented from worsening with puzzles, word games, number puzzles and reading. Basically, stimulating the brain can help slow down the processes that cause memory loss.
7. Check your medication. Many medications can affect memory retention, and include sleeping pills, antihistamines, blood pressure medication, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and painkillers.
8. Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation and stress can impact the brain cell function, so get enough rest and avoid stressful activities.
9. Hydrate. The human brain is 75% water, so keep your body hydrated.
10. Eat a nutritious diet. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish are particularly beneficial for brain health.
Seeking treatment can make a big difference in your cognitive abilities, including memory, so if you have any concerns regarding these issues, share your concerns with your physician.