What Seniors Can Do To Keep Their Memories Sharp

Vicki Gerson
Updated 8/10/2018 7:37 AM

Senior Helpers Has Advice Whether You Live Independently or in an Assistant Living Facility

There are steps you can take to keep your mind sharp. Today, experts know there are a variety of simple ways to help or even increase your brain function, whether you are living independently or in an assistant living facility. You may want to try incorporating a few of these suggestions in your daily life.

Eat Right

"There are many healthy foods that should be included in your diet," said Director of Operations Mary O'Connor at the Senior Helpers in Oak Brook, which serves the western suburbs of the Chicagoland area "You should include such foods as nuts, fish and red wine. In addition, you may want to consider following the Mediterranean diet that consists of vegetables, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and olive oil."

Read a book

Reading a book-or even a magazine- is especially beneficial to seniors. Absorbing the information helps build connections within the brain. Visit a bookstore or the library to find a wide selection of books and magazines. If you have a vision problem, there are books with large type, monitors that blow-up type for easier reading and books on tape.


Writing can improve your memory, as well as your ability to communicate. If you keep a journal, you can write your daily thoughts and activities. Other people keep a gratitude journal to help them focus on all the good thins in their life.


Crossword and pictures puzzles can challenge and stimulate you intellectually. What you're actually doing is exercising your brain and increasing your mental awareness. Once you master basic puzzles keep trying more difficult puzzles to keep challenging yourself.

Paint or draw

"One of the most popular ways to keep your brain active today is to draw in the adult coloring books that are being sold everywhere," added O'Connor. "Many patterns take time to complete and are quite complex. The paint by number sets can also be enjoyable-or even just blank canvas where people can let their creativity loose."


Whether you are taking an aerobics class, an arthritis class, yoga, swimming or chair exercises, it is important to keep exercising each part of your body that you safely can. Regular exercise even helps keep your brain healthy and raises your spirits

Use memory tricks

"If you are noticing that you are having trouble with your everyday memory, here are a few tricks you can use," recommended O'Connor. "Every time you learn a new name or word say it out loud so it's in your brain. Then try to connect the name or word with an image. For example, if the name is Autumn, visualize colorful leaves. A second way to help with recall is to use sticky notes around your home or office. In addition, you can set your phone alarm as a medicine reminder."

Because aging can take a toll on the brain, these suggestions can help sharpen your cognitive functions. Start trying them and see if you notice a difference.

For more information about keeping your memory sharp, or if you are considering bringing in a full or part-time helper, call 630-359-5775 or email Mary O'Connor at moconnor@seniorhelpers.com. More information is available at their website at: www.seniorhelpers.com/Elmhurst. Senior Helpers is a home services agency that is licensed for home services including helping people with the daily tasks of living including homemaking, cooking, bathing, transportation, shopping and more.

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