A higher level of learning is associated with better mental functioning at any age. Experts think that advanced education may help keep memory strong by getting a person into the habit of being mentally active. Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them. Many people have jobs that keep them mentally active, but pursuing a hobby, learning a new skill, or volunteering for a project at work can keep your brain sharp.
Use all your senses
The more senses you use in learning something, the more of your brain will be involved in retaining the memory. So challenge all your senses as you venture into the unfamiliar.
Believe in yourself
Myths about aging can contribute to a failing memory. People who believe that they are not in control of their memory function — joking about “senior moments” too often, perhaps — are less likely to work at maintaining or improving their memory skills and therefore are more likely to experience cognitive decline. If you believe you can improve, chances are you will!
Prioritize your brain use
Take advantage of calendars and planners, maps, shopping lists, file folders, and address books to keep routine information accessible. Designate a place at home for your glasses, purse, keys, and other items you use often.
Repeat what you want to know
When you want to remember something you’ve just heard, read, or thought about, repeat it out loud or write it down. That way, you reinforce the memory or connection.