There is still so much that we do not know about the brain. Weighing only about three pounds, it is amazing that this organ is in charge of how the rest of the body operates, including how we formulate and recall memories.
The human memory is often misunderstood, and what you have been told in the past about memory may not necessarily be true. Unfortunately, these misunderstandings of memory loss can lead to myths and fears that are not relevant.
For example, let’s look at the accuracy of memories. Many people believe that once a memory forms, it is cemented and locked away in the brain. What actually happens is that your brain recalls a version of the event in question. Each time you remember a specific event, you are, in fact, recalling the last time you thought about it. This means that our memories change and evolve and are not as accurate as we may have believed them to be.
As a memory care provider in Georgia, Oaks Senior Living is setting the record straight. By sharing the truth behind common myths and misconceptions, we hope to create a better understanding of memory loss.
Misconception #1: Memory Loss is a Normal Part of Aging
Our bodies go through changes throughout the aging process, and it is not unusual to experience occasional lapses in memory. However, memory loss is not a normal part of aging, and there are things you can do to strengthen your mind.
Like all muscles in the body, exercising and stimulating the brain can promote health and proper functioning. Consuming a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in promoting brain health and improving memory.
Misconception #2: Memory Loss Automatically Means Dementia
Many people believe that the first sign of memory loss means the development of dementia. While you may occasionally forget why you just walked into a room or the name of an acquaintance, this lapse in memory is not a cause for concern.
It is important to factor in all the reasons an individual may forget a certain detail. For instance, being stressed, distracted, tired, or busy can all lead to moments of forgetfulness.
When memory loss begins to affect how a person functions on a day-to-day basis, however, it may be time to seek advice from a physician.
Misconception #3: Memory Loss is Inherited
The misconception that memory loss is inherited is mostly false, but there is, admittedly, some truth. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, “the majority of dementia is not inherited by children and grandchildren.” With this being said, however, there are a few rare forms of dementia that can be hereditary.
The most common types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, are not hereditary. Still, the rare types (early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease) can be passed down through genetics.
Even with these rare types of dementia, age-related memory loss as a whole is not inherited. It is all about how we take care of our minds and bodies and whether our lifestyle promotes healthy aging.
Misconception #4: Memory Loss Means a Lower Quality of Life
Just because a person is living with a type of dementia or another form of memory loss does not mean that they have a lower quality of life. Memory care communities, like Oaks Senior Living in Georgia, provide compassionate care that is designed to improve the quality of life of those living with a memory impairment through engagement, connection, and life-enriching activities.
Horizons Memory Care
Each Oaks Senior Living community offers a specialized memory care neighborhood, Horizons Memory Care, to support the needs of residents living with dementia or another memory impairment. Bright and comfortable common areas featuring a centralized shared space help minimize agitation and confusion, while the layout and straight hallways allow residents to locate their apartment with ease. Horizons is a secure neighborhood, yet the environment remains open and unrestrictive, giving residents freedom of movement and a true sense of “home.”
Our Horizons team members receive specialized training on how to help those living with memory impairments while offering compassionate care. Through collaboration and tiered programming, our Horizons Lifestyle Directors and care partners ensure residents receive frequent socialization, stimulation, and independence, regardless of their level of cognitive functioning.
Many factors go into understanding memory loss, but one thing is for certain – memory loss does not mean the loss of quality of life. To learn more about the Horizons Memory Care neighborhood in each of our communities, contact a member of the Oaks Senior Living team.