Getting older comes with a unique set of challenges. For example, our memory and focus tend to lessen over time, which is very common. However, they are ways to minimize the amount that is lost. With specific strategies and practices, you can learn how to improve your memory retention and ability to focus. The brain acts like a muscle and can get stronger by exercising it.
10 Things Seniors Can do to Improve Memory and Focus
5 Tips to Keep Your Memory Sharp
As we age, our memory can start to decline. Some of it is genetically predisposed, and some can result from lifestyle choices. It would help if you surrounded yourself in an environment where you can have an active and engaged lifestyle, like what is provided at Plattduetsche Home Society. Be sure to maintain routine doctor visits and consider incorporating some of these tips to help keep your memory sharp:
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Every night before bed, write down three things you are thankful for and two memories from the day. Get creative with what makes you grateful — perhaps your grandchildren, an interaction with a neighbor, or a good meal! Writing down memories will help strengthen those moments in your brain as well.
2. Use a Weekly Pill Organizer
If you take any number of medications (even a single daily vitamin), it’s worth getting a weekly pill organizer to set up your medication at the start of each week. They are great at helping you track when to take your medication and know in advance when prescription refills are required.
3. Follow the “One Touch Rule”
The “One Touch Rule” by productivity consultant Ann Gomez is deceptively simple, yet a game-changer for remembering where things are. Have a dedicated spot for your phone, keys, and wallet that you ALWAYS put them in when you get home. That way, it is much easier to remember where your essential items are when you need them in a pinch.
4. Write Tasks Down
Get a pad of paper and a pen to keep by your bed. When you wake up in the morning, write down a list of your goals for the day. Then, tear off that sheet and keep it with you all day! And at the end of the day, don’t hesitate to toss the paper so you can start fresh tomorrow.
5. Make Time for Sleep
Sleeping is when your brain does some of its best work consolidating memories. Get at least seven and a half to nine hours of sleep a night, and you’ll be well-rested, with your mind a bit sharper and ready to make more memories for the future.
5 Ways to Improve Your Focus
There are different contributing factors to losing our focus. From poor or insufficient sleep to side effects of medications to daily information overload. Along with consulting a doctor, here are some helpful tips to help with your focus:
1. Read a Newspaper or Book
Reading something tangible without distractions from email or social media can help you practice to zone in on the things you care about. Plus, paper is so much easier on the eyes (as long as you have a good light source).
2. Practice Mindfulness While Eating
During at least one meal each day, try to eat without engaging in another activity, such as reading or watching TV. Pay attention to the food you’re eating, the delicious taste, and how your stomach feels when it’s full. This simple act of focus will keep you mindful of your body and give your brain some time for free thinking.
3. Take a Walk with a Loved One
Instead of going out to a meal with a loved one, consider taking a walk with them instead! It doesn’t have to be at a fast pace or far distance. It just needs to be something that makes you feel a bit more alert, especially if you are stationary for the majority of the day (which so many of us are with computers, TV, and all the ample time to relax these days).
4. Set Timers
When you need to complete a task, set a timer for how long you’d like to spend on it. That way, you can focus and enjoy whatever you are doing without worrying that you will lose track of time and miss out on other things you had planned for the day.
5. Turn Off the TV Well Before Bedtime
Give your brain a rest before bed. Turn off the television about an hour or so before turning in. Watching TV or using mobile devices before bed is known to disrupt your sleep cycle, so giving yourself some time in between is best. With proper rest comes the ability to have more focus.
Bottom Line: Stay Active
Staying active as we get older provides us all with so many benefits. So, do your best to maintain an active social, physical, and mentally engaged lifestyle!
At Plattduetsche Home Society, we have all of your needs covered. Our Case Managers, Nurse Aides, Housekeeping staff, and Recreation and Activities staff provide services that meet the needs of our elderly residents.
Get in touch with Plattduetsche Home Society today to learn more about what we offer with our Adult Home Care and Enriched Housing.