Tips to Prevent Memory Loss

Published: August 09, 2016

Can’t find your keys? Forget what’s on your grocery list? You’re not alone. We all forget things occasionally. Although there are no guarantees when it comes to preventing memory loss, memory tricks can be helpful. Consider even simple ways from the Mayo Clinic to sharpen your memory – and know when to seek help.


Stay mentally active - Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape. Do crossword puzzles. Read a section of the newspaper that you normally skip. Learn a new game or skill.


Socialize regularly - Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others – especially if you live alone. When you’re invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!


Get organized - You’re more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. Keep to-do lists current and check off items as you complete them. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials.

  Limit distractions and don’t try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you are trying to remember, you will be more likely to recall it later.


Sleep well - Sleep plays an important role in helping you consolidate your memories, so you can recall them down the road. Make getting enough sleep a priority. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per day.


Eat a healthy diet - A healthy diet might be as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources such as fish, lean meat and skinless poulrty. What you drink counts too. Not enough water or too much alcohol can lead to confusion or memory loss.


Include physical activity in your daily routine - Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This might help keep your memory sharp. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.


When to seek help for memory loss - If you are worried about memory loss, especially if memory loss affects your ability to complete your usual daily activities, consult your doctor. He or she will likely do a physical exam, as well as check your memory and problem-solving skills. Sometimes other tests are needed as well. Treatment will depend on what’s contributing to the memory loss.


Information provided by the Mayo Clinic.

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