Keep memory loss at bay among seniors with these activities: PLAY MENTALLY STIMULATING GAMES Strategy games like chess or bridge and word games like Scrabble or crossword puzzles keep the brain in shape. Consider number puzzles too, like Sudoku, or even singing (they have to remember the lyrics)! SOCIALISE REGULARLY Stress and depression can contribute to memory loss but having a social life can stave off these conditions. Look for opportunities for your parents to get together with loved ones and friends, especially if they live on their own. Buy them tickets for cultural and music events or encourage them to do volunteer work. And get them connected on social networking sites like Facebook. EAT A HEALTHY DIET Foods that are high in antioxidants, like berries, tart cherries and green tea, as well as those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and walnuts, can help prevent brain cells from getting rusty. Drink plenty of fluids too – seniors who are even mildly dehydrated can suffer from cognitive impairment. EXERCISE DAILY Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and encourages the development of new brain cells. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (like brisk walking), or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (like jogging) a week. This should be spread out across the week, and can even be broken up into a few 10-minute walks throughout the day. After all, it’s been shown that walking 10-14km a week can slash the risk of developing memory loss by half. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP Sleep is necessary for the brain to form and store new memories. So make sure your parents snooze for at least seven hours a night – sleep deprivation can stop the growth of new neurons in the brain, causing problems with concentration, memory and decision-making. It can even lead to depression, another memory killer.