Everyone has the occasional “senior moment.” Maybe you’ve gone into the kitchen and can’t remember why, or can’t recall a familiar name during a conversation. Memory lapses can occur at any age, but aging alone is generally not a cause of cognitive decline. When significant memory loss occurs among older people, it is generally not due to aging but to organic disorders, brain injury, or neurological illness.
Studies have shown that you can help prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia with some basic good health habits:
- staying physically active
- getting enough sleep
- not smoking
- having good social connections
- limiting alcohol to one drink a day
- eating a balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats.
Certain health conditions that can impair cognitive skills include diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, depression, and hypothyroidism. If you have any of these health issues, you can help protect your memory by following your doctor’s advice carefully.
Memory changes can be frustrating, but the good news is that, thanks to decades of research, you can learn how to get your mind active.
Ensure Your Hearing Is In Top Shape
Many adults suffer from some degree of hearing loss. While the actual cause behind the hearing loss may vary, once a person has experienced hearing loss, their cognitive abilities are in danger.
As one long-term study recognized, hearing loss can significantly speed up cognitive decline in older adults. Even those adults with relatively mild hearing loss experienced accelerated memory loss and disorganization.