Memory training may improve cognition among seniors

Jasmine Phu

September 2, 2011

A new study has shown that it may be never too late to learn a few new tricks, regardless of a person's age. Researchers spent six weeks teaching participants over 80 – with an average age of 81- about healthy habits, cognitive skills and stress reduction techniques. Strategies for memory were also included in the regimen, from tips on remembering names to ways that images could be linked to ideas.

Compared to a control group, the group that underwent the training showed significant improvement in verbal memory and the way they perceived their own memories.

"Lifestyle and environmental factors may play a role in cognitive decline, so our program included education about healthy living in addition to memory-training techniques," researcher Gary Small said in a statement.

Most experts generally recommend staying social and continually learning new things to preserve cognitive function. With so many lifelong learning classes appearing thanks to institutions like the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, this may become even easier in the coming years.

Older adults who are looking to stay healthy and comfortable in the coming years may additionally want to make a home age-friendly by installing a senior alert system, which helps ensure that homeowners can always get in touch with emergency services.