A Healthy Lifestyle for A Better Memory – Part 4 of 5
Lifestyle Factors that help maintain a good memory are the things we do and take part in that produce more wellbeing in our lives.
Social Activities for the Elderly
According to research, those who still maintain social activities when they are older live a longer, happier life, as well as having a better functioning memory. The research has been summarised on the Age Uk website:
The typical model of a person thought to be socially isolated is one with little or no contact with friends or family, who is older and/or unmarried and has a wider range of health conditions, including depression and long-standing mobility-limiting illnesses, such as lung disease and arthritis. They are also more likely to be female. Source:AgeUK
It is therefore very important to get out and about, even with a mobility impaired condition like arthritis. Booking a taxi, dial a ride or hiring a carer for an hour to drive you somewhere can help keep the social connections alive. Some local authorities and NHS Trusts offer day services which can, for a small fee, allow you to take part in bingo or go out on visits as a group. Or why not join a social club just for your age group.
The top 5 most popular hobbies in Britain include:-
- Reading – 1
- Foreign travel – 2
- Pub – 3
- Cookery – 4
- Gardening – 5
For the elderly there are some differences especially if they can’t get about as well as they used to, so you can adapt the hobby to suit their ability levels. Now you’re retired is there a hobby you have always wanted to take up? Now’s your chance.
The likelihood that you would try a new activity especially if you think you won’t be very good at it, shows a flexible attitude that also boosts your brainpower.
According to research new hobbies give the brain exercise because you are giving it new information to work with, in which you develop new braincells in order to adapt to it. It is a myth that as we age our brain cells die off. In fact we create new cells all the time.
Brain training exercises for the elderly
University studies have shown that brain exercises like those found on the Nintendo brain training game or mind puzzles like those found on Luminosity can help to stimulate the brain. The best type of brain training exercise is called N-back training which instead of increasing your ability to do more of the same types of brain test, they actually increase overall intelligence.
There is a free software program available for your computer suitable for windows and iOS at the following link- http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/
According to research practicing these skills for just 25 minutes a day can increase thinking abilities by around 40%. You’d certainly remember where you left your glasses or your keys then!