As a caregiver, you are keenly aware of your family member’s patterns and their health. One thing you are always watching for are signals that they are experiencing memory loss. Caregivers Connection has some helpful tools for you.
Memory loss is a relatively common health concern for older folks. Data suggests that 12.5% of adults ages 45 and over feel like their memory is slipping. Though, honestly, a little forgetfulness is unavoidable as people age. It can happen as part of healthy aging above the age of 65 due to some shrinkage in the brain as folks get older.
It’s important to note that many things can cause memory loss with your loved one. None of which should be overlooked. Here are surprising things that impact your memory in both good and not-so-good ways.
A dysfunctional thyroid:
When the thyroid is out of whack, often times the brain gets ‘foggy’ and concentration can be hard. Having your loved one get a simple blood test can rule out issues related to thyroid. If, however, they do show signs of low thyroid, medication can make all the difference in the world.
Lack of sleep:
Individuals that suffer from sleep disorders or deprivation not only suffer from impaired memory, but also daytime fatigue. Be sure that your loved one is getting enough sleep. The standard eight hours doesn’t apply to everyone. If they are fatigued when they wake up, or fall asleep unintentionally during the day, then more sleep is necessary.
Now some good news!
Regular physical activity improves mood and sleep, and by doing so it improves cognition and memory. Even if your loved one has limited mobility, there are many exercises that can be done in a chair.
Actually, green tea. Chemicals found in green tea may help improve memory. Several compounds, EGCG and L-theanine, in green tea increases the growth of new brain cells.
Vitamin B12: Make sure your loved one is getting enough Vitamin B12 in their diet. It naturally occurs in shellfish, meat and poultry. Not enough can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. A B12 deficiency can also lead to memory problems. As with thyroid, a simple blood test can determine whether your loved one should be taking a supplement.
Fortunately, the brain is malleable. In other words, it changes and can improve. With a few simple interventions, you are liable to see your loved ones’ memory improve.