How to keep your memory fit as you get older


How to keep your memory fit as you get older

Without taking appropriate action the avoidable debilitating effects of getting older may catch-up with the inevitable passage of time.We are often preoccupied with the physical decline in our bodies but what is possibly worse is when our mind begins to show signs of failing.Forgetfulness and becoming slower in our thinking can give rise to great upset and a feeling of isolation, even if the cause is not the result of any specific condition such as dementia. There is good news. According to The Harvard Medical School decades of research conclude that certain strategies will help protect and sharpen our brains.With some time and effort put in the brain can be strengthened by certain training just like a muscle, preventing some of age-related cognitive decline so as to keep your brain sharper.


What is not often appreciated is that exercise can help strengthen your brain as well as keep your body strong and healthy.Short-term memory improvement is one of the main benefits noticeable in older people who have started an exercise regime and particularly one involving lots of cardiovascular work.

brain training


Regular use of your brain in creative ways can avoid it deteriorating.The saying ‘use it or lose it’ applies here.

Experts at Harvard think that advanced education may help keep memory strong by getting a person into the habit of being mentally active. They say that 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 pursuing a hobby or learning a new skill can function the same way. Read; join a book group; play chess or bridge; write your life story; do crossword or jigsaw puzzles; take a class; pursue music or art; design a new garden layout.That said though, anything will help – even just reading occasionally.


Although healthy eating lowers your risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, it’s not yet clear if that’s true for Alzheimer’s disease as well. It’s not a lost cause though. Here are 9 foods that researchers think will keep your whole body, including your brain, healthy.

The right diet can do wonders for looking after your brain and helping to prevent the onset of various neurological diseases or general deterioration. Particularly useful are fatty acids such as omega 3 which you can get from fish and supplements, vitamins such as B9 (also known as folic acid) which can be found in fruits and veg and amino acids (proteins) which you can get from meat or from supplementation – from ‘Age Slower’ by David Jones


Your lifestyle can also impact on your mental health. Your sleep regime and fresh air can affect your brain, and alcohol consumption can also have a big impact.

Some easy steps to a better quality of sleep

Staying Active

In Japan, particularly in Okinawa, always keeping busy is seen as giving a sense of purpose in life and supports a concept known as Ikigai. Having something to get up in the morning to do is central to their way of life and is credited with giving the Okinawans a long life expectancy such that they tend to live much longer than those in the rest of the world’s population.What is more they enjoy enviable levels of vitality and health unthinkable for people of advanced age almost any where else in the world.

“One surprising thing you notice,living in Japan, is how active people remain after they retire .In fact, many Japanese people never really retire – they keep doing what they love for as long as their health allows”

– Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles



Online access boosted by the tablets

Smiling senior woman using digital tablet while lying at the parkRecent official statistics show a positive trend in the use of available online access by the over 65s. Over one third are using the internet regularly.The Office of National Statistics (ONS) says that for the first time, over half of those in the age range 65-74 now have access to the internet at home.

Although this is greatly encouraging,there is still a great number of people for whom the digital revolution has had little or no impact. It is reckoned that there are still 5 million people over the age of 65 who have never been online.

With this high number in mind, government and many charities are actively promoting the benefits and confidence that skills on the internet can bring to older people. Apart from the many ways to cut domestic bills and other spending by being online, many people find that they are less isolated by being more connected with family,friends and the world at large. Age UK, provides information about the value of these internet skills, together with details of suitably tailored courses.

Some further ONS stats are:

“While nine out of ten adults (90 per cent) aged 35-44 have the internet at home, this falls to just a quarter (26 per cent) of over 75s. And while virtually all (99 per cent) 25-34s own a mobile phone, only half (51 per cent) of over 75s own a mobile, with this age group more likely to have a landline (94 per cent) than 16-24s (67 per cent).” It is also interesting to note that when asked what media would be missed the most, people aged over 75 are also far more likely to miss their TVs the most (65 per cent), and then the radio (15 per cent).  Young adults aged 16-24,however, would miss their mobile phone the most(28 per cent), followed by the internet (26 per cent) and TV (23 per cent).”

The over 65s play catch-up

The ONS says there is evidence, however, that older age groups are getting to grips with technology.For the first time, over half (55 per cent) of those aged 65-74 have access to the internet at home while over three quarters (77 per cent) now have a mobile.

And the tablets?

Well, tablets like the iPad have grown dramatically in popularity being a handy mobile device of choice for would be silver surfers of the net.The tablet is seen as a driver in the surge of internet access by older people.

If you know of family or friends seeking or needing to join the digital revolution, why not help them look out for a course nearby on computers and the internet.Indeed,you may be interested in learning more of the wide range of the fascinating information you can ‘tap into’ on a daily basis. It is such a valuable facility that can enhance the quality of life. Another source of inspiration for you maybe silver surfers training. Please do let me know how you get on.Feedback may help me to find other resources that could be helpful. You can stay in touch by signing-up for my newsletter, which among other topical things will have some further information from time to time on joining the online community.