7 reasons why it is convenient to train our memory
There are several reasons why it is important to train and strengthen our memory in old age.
Who hasn't lost their keys, missed an appointment or forgotten someone's birthday?
We all experience these absent-mindednesses at some point and they are normal in more stressful periods, but it will be worrying if they occur frequently, we find it difficult to solve them or they affect our personal, family and/or work life.
Aging is a process of generalized deterioration of the individual, which involves a series of structural changes that involves a series of structural and functional changes such as the degeneration of brain tissues, the limitation of cell renewal or the slowing down of processes, which appear with the passage of time and are not the result of diseases or accidents.
This degeneration is not only due to the Biological aging process, but also depends on other factors such as environmental, social and family factors, but especially on the degree of stimulation received from these areas. but especially on the degree of stimulation received from these areas..
Memory loss does not necessarily have to be pathological; sometimes it appears even after the fifth decade of life and is a benign loss, although it is advisable to pay attention to it and consult a specialist to rule out associated pathologies.
The importance of cognitive stimulation
Stereotypes about old age may lead people to believe that memory problems are irremediable, but this belief is a serious mistake. Numerous studies show that it is possible to tackle memory problems through cognitive stimulation activities.. It is a health promotion strategy that helps to promote active and healthy aging.
Aging has physical consequences (loss of balance, muscle tone and coordination, among others) and cognitive consequences (memory loss, mental slowness, difficulties in reasoning, etc.) which in turn lead to a decrease in the quality of life and autonomy of the person, and associated emotional problems such as anxiety or depression may appear.
Life experiences are closely related to the deterioration of the person's quality of life.. Fragile health, poor education, the presence of some type of pathology or lack of motivation can be a reason for interference in the adequate manifestation of intellectual functions.
In a society where the population over 65 years of age has been increasing to reach 16%, in communities such as Catalonia, it is becoming necessary to multidisciplinary care that goes beyond medical or pharmacological intervention..
Therapeutic intervention to strengthen memory
There are several ways in which psychological intervention can be used to train memory. For example, Psicotools, a psychology center in Gràcia-Vallcarca with a service specialized in Neuropsychology, works with an area specialized in neuropsychology directed by the neuropsychologist Elba Egea Senabre and from which they offer cognitive stimulation, based on the activation of different functions such as attention, memory, language, reasoning and orientation..
Brain stimulation can be carried out both with everyday activities (reading books, dancing, board games or building puzzles), as well as attending specific cognitive training workshops, where exercises, games and debates are proposed according to the profile of the participants, which arouse their curiosity by presenting them with challenges.
7 reasons to initiate cognitive stimulation training
The benefits for older adults of training their memory and other cognitive functions are well known. Let's see what they are.
1. Preventing cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases
People with some type of cognitive deterioration who participate in cognitive stimulation workshops maintain their cognitive abilities for a longer period of time, preventing their rapid degeneration and delaying or maintaining and delaying or maintaining the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.
2. Improved cognitive functioning
Training in a workshop cognitive functions such as our attention, memory, reasoning, problem solving, decision making or visuoperception, makes us keep our brain awakeThis makes it easier for us to function better in our environment.
3. Improved mood
Factors such as having an occupation, motivation, social ties or having a space of trust where you can express your opinions and experiences without being judged will promote the emotional well-being of the person.
4. Increases socialization and circle of friendships
Among the elderly, isolation is very common due to the loss of friendships due to the loss of friendships, changes of residence or affectation of the state of mind is very common among the elderly.
Belonging to a group of people with whom one has characteristics in common and shares moments of inspiration and learning helps to create social bonds and generates a sense of well-being and security.
5. Strengthens and increases self-esteem
The reasons that undermine the self-esteem of our elders are diverse: loss of abilities, greater dependence, change of residence, loss of friends or spouse, etc... In the workshop we give a leading role to each of the participants, value their experiences and achievements, helping them to stay active and encouraging their decision making. and encouraging their decision making.
6. Increase their own autonomy
Trusting them and letting them carry out their daily activities, always maintaining their safety, is vital to strengthen their autonomy. Even if it is done more slowly or with supervision, if necessary, it is positive that they are the ones who carry out the activities, it is positive that they are the ones who carry out the activities, or at least the parts or at least the parts they are capable of doing.
From the workshop, the maintenance of cognitive functions in turn entails greater autonomy in daily routines, for example, by working on the sequencing of activities.For example, working on the sequencing of putting on a washing machine or organizing a trip.
7. Avoid stress caused by cognitive impairment.
Seeing our cognitive functions diminished, as well as the difficulties they entail in our daily lives, generates impotence and frustration in the person that can lead to irritability, behavioral problems or even depression. Seeking help and initiating stimulation to help slow this deterioration is a first step.. Cognitive stimulation stimulates the brain areas responsible for experiencing emotions such as empathy, satisfaction or joy.
I strongly recommend the decision to have a healthy lifestyle, exercising a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly and performing quality cognitive stimulation.. It is never too late to set goals that benefit our organism.
Remembering Lao Tse, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step".
Author: Elba Egea Senabre, neuropsychologist, responsible for the Neuropsychology area of Psicotools..