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Simple Steps to Keep Your Memory Sharp

Contrary to popular belief, memory loss is not an inevitable part of aging. That said, many healthy individuals feel less able to remember certain kinds of information as they age. Luckily, most can improve their memory with training and practice.

Ruth Kandel, M.D., director of the Outpatient Memory Disorders Clinic at Hebrew SeniorLife's Hebrew Rehabilitation Center,, recommends the following tips for helping to retain your memory:

  • Be attentive; pay attention to what you want to remember.

  • Avoid fatigue; a good night's sleep will help strengthen your memory.

  • Keep your brain healthy by treating medical problems, such as hypertension, that may increase your risk for dementia.

  • Take preventive measures, such as wearing a seat belt, to protect yourself from injuries to the brain.

  • Keep a memory notebook with reminders.

  • Exercise; there is some evidence suggesting that regular, moderate exercise lowers the risk of dementia.

  • Use it or lose it; participate in cognitively stimulating exercises.

  • Treat sensory loss (i.e., vision and hearing) that can further isolate you.

  • Don't panic; anxiety exacerbates memory problems.

Ignoring memory loss, says Dr. Kandel, may have substantial consequences beyond the frustration and embarrassment you may feel at not being able to remember things. If you think you - or a relative - are having memory problems, consult your physician.

Above content provided by Hebrew SeniorLife in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted July 2012

Contact Information

Division of Gerontology
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Lowry Medical Office Building #1B (West Campus)
110 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02215
617-632-8696

Contact Information

Hebrew Senior Life
1200 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
617-363-8000