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Use It or Lose it: Helping Loved Ones Preserve Memory as They Age

memory games with grandmother dementia

Use It or Lose it: Helping Loved Ones Preserve Memory as They Age


Short-term memory loss may be the first sign of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. Since memory loss is almost always a side-effect of getting older, it benefits anyone and everyone to work at preserving memory throughout their lifespan with some simple tips. Memory loss potentially affects more than 10 million people, including many people who are left with the task of caring for someone suffering from a memory problem. The following tips are also integral practices for at-home caregivers and family members that want to help those that they love.

Some ways to help preserve memory in aging are:

Memory Games

Understand that memory games should not be used as a gauge to determine if a loved one has dementia or memory loss, but rather as a tool to stay sharp as long as possible. Some excellent games that can be therapeutic for those struggling with memory deficits include Sudoku puzzles, crosswords and word or picture games that require matching. Jigsaw puzzles are another excellent way to work areas of the brain related to memory and cognition, and they may also foster socialization between people living under the same roof.


Reading is another life-long skill that should be encouraged and facilitated. Don’t have a library card? Get one. Community libraries offer a wealth of programming, classes and events that are geared toward seniors and will continue to foster engagement and interaction across all age groups. Also, check out this Caregivers Toolkit that provides tips for getting seniors engaged and involved.


While Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia first manifest in short-term memory loss, long-term faculties may be unaffected. Take your loved one on a walk down memory lane; ask them about events from their past – such as marriage, work or school – that may still be easy for the individual to pull from memory. A great tip is to display photos from the past around your home rather than pictures from the current day. Stick old pictures on the fridge, in frames and around the rooms to provide a sense of comfort and clarity for those with memory loss issues.


As Axl Rose once said, ‘all it takes is just a little patience,’ and these lyrics are spot on when helping someone you love with memory loss. Instead of reprimanding or berating those that don’t seem to remember the simplest of details, take a moment and breathe. When it becomes challenging to retain a sense of peace amid the struggles of caring for someone with dementia, reach out for help. from other kin, neighbors or a paid caregiver.A family member or an Angel Companions trained Caregiver can give you the break you need and allow you some peace of mind while you are away.


Use these tips to help challenge and preserve memory in older adults, dementia patients or loved ones that are battling Alzheimer’s disease. These are excellent strategies to use when interacting with individuals with memory deficits, as well as smart ways to ward off the inevitable memory loss that often accompanies age.

Angel Companions of Georgia serves all 27 Greater Atlanta counties and specializes in helping you or your loved ones struggling with memory problems. We provide part or full-time companionship customized for the care level each client needs. If you have any questions please use our contact page form or call us today at 770-579-5000!

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