YOU and YOUR aging Brain and keeping it active

The following if from

As we grow older, we all start to notice some changes in our

ability to remember things

Maybe you have gone into the kitchen and cannot remember why,

or cannot recall a familiar name during a conversation.  You may

even miss an appointment because it slipped your mind.  Memory

lapses can occur at any age, but we tend to get more upset by

them as we get older because we fear they are a sign of

dementia, or loss of intellectual function.  The fact is significant

memory loss in older people is not a normal part of aging but is

due to organic disorders, brain injury, or neurological illness with

Alzheimer’s being among the most feared.


Thanks to decades of research, there are various strategies we

can use to protect and sharpen our minds.  Here are seven you

might try.


Keep learning

A higher level of education is associated with better mental

functioning in old age. Challenging your brain with mental

exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain

individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them.

Many people have jobs that keep them mentally active but

pursue a hobby or learning a new skill can function the same

way.  Read:  join a book club, play chess or bridge, write your life story, do crossword or jigsaw puzzles, take a class, pursue music

or art, garden.


Use all your senses

The more senses you use in learning something, the more of your

brain will be involved retaining the memory.  In one study; adults

were shown a series of emotionally neutral images, each

presented along with a smell.  Challenge all your senses as you

venture into some unfamiliar ground.

Believe in yourself-especially as YOU age

Myths about aging can contribute to a failing memory.  People

who believe that they are not in control of their memory function

are less likely to work at maintain or improving their memory skills

and are less likely to work at maintaining or improving their

memory skills and therefore are more likely to experience

cognitive decline.


Economize your brain use

Use calendars, planners, maps, shopping lists, file folders, and

address books to keep routine information accessible.

Designate a place at home for glasses, purse, keys, and other

items you use often.



Repeat what you want to know

When you want to remember something you have just heard,

read, or thought about, repeat it out loud or write it down.  If you

place one of your belongings somewhere other than its usual

spot, tell yourself out loud what you have done.


Space it out

Research shows that spaced rehearsal improves recall not only in

healthy people but also in those with certain physically based

cognitive problems, such as those associated with multiple



Make a mnemonic

Use a creative way to remember lists.

Acronyms are a good way to remember