It’s perfectly natural to have memory slips every now and then. As we age our brains become weaker, thus making slips happen more often. Seniors and aging parents in particular, are used to dealing with memory losses. Forgetting where they placed the house keys is common; however, not remembering the names of their loved ones is an alarming sign that your parent might have dementia or Alzheimer’s. These chronic illnesses don’t have a cure; however there are things a caregiver can do to help keep the brain of a loved one active and alert.

Aging & memory

Memory slips are irritating senior moments that happen due to a decline in brain activity. They often become evident in people over 50; in spite of several studies done on the matter, scientists are still not sure what triggers memory loss. Apparently, these are age-related slips happen due to a decreased blood flow or brain cell loss. Surprisingly enough, some seniors who can’t remember where they placed their house keys are quite good at solving puzzles. The decline in brain activity can be stopped, or at the very least, reversed. This is done by making essential lifestyle changes.

Aging parents need proper care. They should adhere to a healthier diet to keep their lungs, heart and bones as strong as possible. Scientists agree that the human brain is malleable. The more active it remains (regardless of age) the higher the chances of preserving it in excellent condition. To help keep the nerve cells and neurons in the brain active and alert, your aging parent should exercise at least 2 times a week. Walking, aerobic activities and even mild jogging is recommended to boost the blood supply in the brain and foster the development of fresh neurons.

Nutrition for proper brain health

Healthy foods can do a lot of good to the body. But it can also keep the brain healthy and strong. Making smart choices is extremely important, particularly in seniors prone to all kinds of brain-related illnesses. Research has shown that dietary factors on certain mechanisms and molecular systems preserve proper mental functioning. For example, a diet rich in healthy fatty acids such as omega-3 supports various cognitive processes, maintains plasticity in rodents and adequate synaptic function. Seniors who are used to eating foods high in saturated fats however, are becoming predisposed to reduced molecular substrates that deal with cognitive process. The end result can be an increased risk of developing neurological dysfunction. Among some of the best food varieties your ageing parent should include in their daily diet, we should mention:

  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Blueberries, strawberries & wild berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggs
  • Broccoli

Brain exercise

Exercising the brain is paramount in older adults. Just like exercise help the body stay in shape, mental stimulation helps the brain stay active and alert. Crossword puzzles, playing chess, reading books and even learning to play the piano (or any other musical instrument) are excellent brain stimulants. It is equally important to interact with friends; go out for a walk, meet with neighbors and just enjoy your time. Caregivers should encourage their aging parents to connect with peers more often. It will keep them happier and eager to go out and mingle, not just sit around alone in the house watching TV all day long.

Bring the grandkids over

Seniors don’t like to be ignored. They usually don’t say anything because they don’t want to bother you. Be there for them every step of the way, even from a distance. Teach them how to use Skype and have a video call every week. If you live nearby, bring the grandkids over, play games and enjoy a family picnic. This will help them feel valued, thus boosting their feelings of appreciation and love of the self.

Memory loss is normal in aging parents. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re predisposed to developing a chronic disease like dementia. Activities like reading and playing games can do miracles to their brains. Mental stimulation keeps the brain active and alert. They might still forget where they placed the house keys, but they will still be able to live a comfortable life all on their own.

Author Bio: Jefferey Morgan is interested in writing about health and fitness related issues. He has a deep knowledge at this field. Also he writes for a site providing residential care homes and retirement villages.