As we get older, we all tend to forget things from time to time. So its understandable that its the case for 90-year-old Earl Collins.
I dont worry about it, but it happens. A name I want; I cant remember, he said.
But at Seattles Aegis Living on Capitol Hill, Earl is among those seeing the benefits of dramatic and exciting new ways technology and other techniques are helping slow or even reverse memory loss.
You have to keep using it or lose it, he said.
Its an old adage, but new research is finding just how true that is. And even more importantly, that memory loss can be reversed.
Thats why many days youll find Earl perched in front of a computer running a program called Dakon Fitness in a dedicated brain center at the upscale, apartment-like complex assisted-living complex.
Therell be music, mathematics, things you have to remember, he said as he demonstrated the program that resembles many of the most popular video games.
But researchers are finding using programs like Dakon Fitness, or one of the many popular apps like Lumosity, is just a small part of keeping our brains healthy.
Researchers are increasingly finding our brains thrive on variety and diversity.
Aegis is at the forefront of incorporating music, art, theater, lectures and a number of other activities including daily exercise at its several dozen assisted and senior-living centers around the Puget Sound area.
When that is done consistently, we have seen really good results, says Rob Lieberich, a regional general manager with Aegis.
All of a sudden they couldnt recall their name before, now they can recall. Werent able to spell their name before, now they can. Are able to sleep better, eat better, he said.
Its not just for seniors. Regular brain fitness can help us all slow or even stave off the inevitable effects of aging.
Its fantastic to be training your brain and trying new things all the time, learning new languages and playing musical instruments like Earl, said Chris Corrigall, vice president of life enrichment for Aegis. I think its critical.
Research is showing that isolation is a significant cause of memory loss and cognitive decline.
At Aegis, virtually all of the programs bring people together and keep them from hiding out, or checking out.
Theyve created over 200 blankets for foster children, having a sense of purpose and giving back, Collins said.