I keep forgetting where I placed things when I'm scurrying hither and yon...and fuhgetabout remembering names of folks I don't see that often.
Since Alzheimers runs in my family, I started thinking it might've gotten me, and that's scarey.
“Our brains age just like the rest of our bodies,” says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Longevity Center and co-author with Gigi Vorgan of Two Weeks to A Younger Brain. “One of the manifestations of brain age is forgetfulness. It’s a common experience."
So, here's some tips for managing the most common memory problems:
You recognize the face but can’t recall the name. “Our memories live in neighborhoods, “ Small explains, “and when we try to remember something, it helps if we can associate it with something that will get us into the right neighborhood.”
Tip: As soon as you meet someone, try to associate his or her name with something familiar. If, for example, you’re introduced to Mr. White and he has grey hair, you can think, “White has white hair.”
You can’t think of the name of the movie you saw last night—until you’re driving home from the dinner party where you made a fool of yourself groping for it. It’s again about making an association for yourself that allows you to pull it out of the right file in which you’ve stored it in your brain.
Tip: Small recommends writing down (on paper or on your Smart phone) the name of the movie and as many words as you can associate with it. That simple exercise will allow you to access those words the next time and make it easier to remember the movie title (or book name or painting or whatever it is that’s on the “tip of your tongue.”)
Forgetting where you put things can be solved simply by always putting them in the same place every time you put them down.
Tip: If you can’t put your keys or your wallet down in its usual home, then say to yourself as you’re putting it down, “I am putting my keys on the nightstand.” And, says Small, if you can’t do either of those things at the moment you’re about to put them down, then don’t put them down!
If you forget to bring things to appointments, or walk out of the house without what you need for an important meeting, then the fix is to slow down.
Tip: “It’s about creating memory habits,” Small says. “What I recommend is to check your calendar at the same time and in the same place each day. Before you leave your house, think through what’s involved in what you are going to do. Do you have your insurance card? Do you have the folder you need to prepare your taxes? Do you need to bring anything else with you?”
When you get your heart pumping, more oxygen reaches your brain, which means that your brain gets healthier. Exercise also releases hormones that create a hospitable environment for the growth of brain cells.
Stress also releases hormones like cortisol, which can inhibit brain cells. If you are stressed, you may also be taxing your memory because you are focusing on those things that worry you instead of the things that you need to do.
Filling your body with lots of sugar and empty carbohydrates could leave you with a serious case of brain fog because you’re not fueling your brain’s needs.
What to eat for brain health...
- Omega fatty acids (like those that come from fish and olive oil) and you’ll be giving it the building blocks it needs to create new cells. Meat (especially liver),
- Seafood, eggs, milk and cheese are foods rich in Vitamin B-12 can help the brain by encouraging methylation, a process that brains need to be healthy.
- Research shows that the MIND diet can assist in the delay of Alzheimers in our elders, and may support brain health in us.
You have been officially alerted....