Master of Memory

The goal of the Master of Memory program is to improve participants’ memory function. Master of Memory encourages participants to recognize that they can impact their memory function, evaluate their own memory function, identify factors that may enhance or detract from their memory function, and find ways that may help address some of those factors. The six-lesson series includes presentations on memory and learning, memory strategies, nutrition, medications, medical conditions, and exercise for the body and mind.

Studies show that 80 percent of older adults complain about memory problems, but only 15 percent report these problems to their health professionals. People of all ages forget, but older people tend to worry more about forgetting and memory loss. Many things may diminish memory. Increased anxiety about memory loss may interfere with the hippocampus, which puts together new memories and processes them for storage. Regardless of age, memory losses are increased by factors such as inattention, anxiety, or depression. Living alone, stress, illness, adapting to loss, and negative stereotypes, may affect memory. Biological factors, such as hearing and vision loss, and psychological factors may also affect memory. Additionally, medical conditions — such as hypertension or high cholesterol — may play a role in memory function. Physical activity combined with proper nutrition may be able to impact high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Higher levels of physical activity may increase blood flow to the brain, which is integral to brain function. While there may be changes in memory as people grow older, most people can improve their memory with training and practice. Improving memory, however, requires a belief that change is possible. Studies have shown that older adults were less likely than younger adults to attribute memory function to controllable factors such as using effective strategies. Those elders who did make attributions to these factors demonstrated better performance than their peers who did not see memory as being under their control. Other research demonstrates that older adult memory performance can be improved through external and internal strategy training.

For more information about the program, please contact Ellis County Extension Agent, Danae Hicks at, or 972-825-5175.

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