As you grow older, things become harder to remember. Grocery lists, birthdays and your best friend’s phone number don’t stick to the brain as much as they used to. Is there a way to get back your memory of old?

Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care TN highlights some ways to improve your memory.

Why Does Memory Tend to Get Worse With Age?

It can be tempting to label age-related memory loss as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but this isn’t always the case. For most people, occasional lapses in memory are a normal part of the aging process.

One common reason that memory fades a little bit with age is due to the fact that the hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in the formation and retrieval of memories, often deteriorates with age. Additionally, hormones and proteins that protect and repair brain cells and stimulate neural growth also decline with age. If you are worried that your memory loss is Alzheimer’s or dementia-related, we’ve listed some common memory lapses that aren’t considered serious warning signs below.

Common Memory Lapses

  • Occasionally forgetting where you left things you use regularly, such as glasses or keys
  • Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your son’s name
  • Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered
  • Becoming easily distracted or having trouble remembering what you’ve just read, or the details of a conversation
  • Not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue”

What Can I Do to Improve My Memory?

There are lots of things you can do to improve your cognitive ability! In fact, the same practices that contribute to healthy aging and physical vitality also contribute to a healthy memory.

So, by taking steps early to prevent cognitive decline, you’ll also be improving all other aspects of your life as well. We’ve listed some ways to improve your memory and overall health below.

Memory and Wellness Boosting Activities

  • Stay socially connected. Even though it’s hard to stay physically in touch during the pandemic, spending time in conversation with others can greatly reduce stress and is powerful medicine for the brain.
  • Quit smoking. If you do smoke, smoking heightens the risk of vascular disorders that can cause stroke and constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain. When you quit smoking, the brain quickly benefits from improved circulation.
  • Eat healthy foods. Fruits, vegetables and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish, contain lots of antioxidants and can prevent your brain from “rusting.”
  • Get plenty of sleep. A good night’s sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, which is the process of forming and storing new memories so you can retrieve them later.

We’d all certainly like to forget 2020, but let’s take steps toward improving our day-to-day memory. If you have any questions or health concerns, please reach out to our AFC Urgent Care TN team today!