Seniors: Just How Sharp Are You?

Nov 10th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Names won’t stick…telephone numbers hard to recall…books read and movies seen can’t be remembered…locations forgotten…what do these trends tell us?  Sometimes they tell us nothing at all, except aging introduces enough information that some of it slips.  Sometimes, it just means that familiarity with some names, places and entertainment are not high on our memory list.  If the condition seems chronic, i.e. forgetfulness seems to prevail with more and more encounters and experiences, then there may be reason for concern.  There are lots of humorous accounts about memory loss, but those are to help us to focus on whether and how serious our recall issues really are.

Exercises which assist memory retention are healthy methods for assisting our memory functioning better.  Playing games, such as Scrabble, certain other word and table games, Sudoku may enable memory sharpness.  Conversations with persons whose vocabulary acumen may test your own can enable your recall abilities. 

When dealing with persons whose mental functioning seems to be challenged, having them participate in memory conversations regarding their own past and people in it can be stimulating to them.  This is also a means for allowing family members and others to learn about the past, its episodes, trials and humorous moments. 

Sharpness is enabled by honing skills to pull up data that allows the person, experiencing light dementia., to improve. Keep them talking, help them with reading.  Talk about the latest movie seen and scenes which were stimulating, exciting or meaningful.  Help them identify characters, particular actors whom they remember from the past.  

When taking walks or drives, point out places that have been familiar in the past.  Ask them to tell you what was once in a location that is no longer identified by the same name.  Give them opportunity to push and test their own ability at recall. 

While you are at it, ask them questions which enable their recalling some personal event or experience which took place in a somewhat familiar place.  These moments of memory testing can be a lot of fun for everyone.  It can also give indication of just how sharp your friend or parent or other loved one is.  It will likely build patience and tolerance for behaviors that may deteriorate in time.  And, more helpfully, it can keep up a relationship in exchanges and involvement that can be useful to everyone.



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