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4 Types of Memories Seniors Need to Focus On

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

Sometimes seniors need to reflect back on their past experiences because it can offer them a fresh perspective on their current lives. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Henderson, NV, discusses 4 types of memories your elderly loved one should try to focus on and why each type is important.

1. Happy Memories

Some of the best events for seniors to focus on are enjoyable memories from the past. According to a 2011 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, people who focus on positive past experiences can actually alter their body’s production of serotonin and oxytocin. Even if the memories are not particularly exciting or happy, simply thinking of them as positive experiences can be enough to start making physical changes in your loved one’s brain. 

2. Humorous Events

No matter your loved one’s age, laughter should always be viewed as a vital part of his or her life. Taking some time to think about humorous events in the past triggers the release of a hormone known as cortisol, which can lower your loved one’s blood pressure and help him or her suppress feelings of stress. Cortisol has also been shown to minimize pain, reduce inflammation, and trigger the release of T-cells from the immune system. 

3. Childhood Memories

Your loved one’s childhood memories will forever shape who he or she is and how her or she views the world. Not only do these memories trigger the release of vital hormones, but they can also be an excellent cognitive challenge. If your loved one is having a difficult time remembering events from childhood, he or she should try to put these thoughts on paper. Writing down what he or she still remembers could trigger additional memories and facts. 

4. Sad Times

Though it might seem counterintuitive, remembering sad events can be just as important as remembering happy times. Recalling a situation such as the passing of a loved one might invoke feelings of empathy and compassion. Many people avoid these memories because they are difficult to process, but being sad is a critical part of the human condition. Trying to bottle these memories up can lead to more severe emotional concerns down the road.

A senior’s emotional wellbeing is just as essential to maintain as his or her physical health. Make sure your loved one has adequate emotional support by hiring a caregiver from Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Henderson families trust. For more information and to schedule a free consultation with a Care Manager, call (702) 527-7723 today.