How to Avoid Memory Loss as a Senior

Most of us have heard the adage: use it or lose it when it comes to memory loss. Learning how to avoid memory loss as a senior is a central concern for many.

A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public health finds that maintaining an active social life appears to delay memory loss as we age. Being social makes one mentally engaged, in a way distinct from completing crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Social isolation may be an important risk factor for cognitive decline. 

Over the course of the six year study, 50 and 60 year olds engaged in a lot of social activity also had the slowest rate of memory decline. Compared to those least socially active, the most socially active had less than half the rate of memory loss.

Here are a few strategies you may want to use to stay engaged and mentally healthy:

  • Learn a new skill or language. Community colleges and senior centers are an inexpensive source of classes in everything from Spanish, art, swimming, writing and computers.
  • Take up yoga or join a gym. In addition to improving overall fitness, the local gym or YMCA can be a great place to make new friends.
  • Attend free lectures at bookstores and museums. Find new interests or hobbies by listening to visiting artists.
  • Volunteer at the local library or nonprofit agency. There are many volunteer opportunities that require varying commitments of time.
  • Don’t stop walking as you get older. Find a way to keep moving. Get a walking buddy. Walk buddies can be particularly helpful to keep up the pace and commitment.

Staying active and involved is one of the key benefits of living in a senior community.  In addition to scheduled activities such as group exercise, choir, art classes and trips to the theatre or movies, senior communities make it easy to find a foursome for bridge without traveling far from home.  Stay active, stay healthy, stay sharp.