Video Technology Can Slow Down Memory Decline in Older Adults

One of the unexpected benefits of the pandemic has been Zoom communications preventing memory loss.A recently published study by the University of We

There are three main types of memory that help us navigate our everyday lives:

Semantic memory is the knowledge of facts that we all share, as well as concepts and ideas.

Procedural memory helps you remember how to do things, for example drive and play the violin. These are the processes that become automatic, so we don’t have to think consciously about them.

Episodic memory is responsible for retaining your recollections of events that happen to you personally – The moments and episodes of your life that form your story.

It’s believed that using Zoom and other online platforms for social engagement gives people new sources of direct cognitive stimulation.

In essence, technology keeps your brain active, and the more types of online technology you learn, the more you’ll benefit.

The pandemic has forced people to use alternative means of communication, such as Zoom and Skype, as well as Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media platforms. As face-to-face hasn’t been possible for most, keeping up with interactions via these online platforms has been a lifeline, and perhaps something that you’ll want to maintain once we’re all back to visiting our loved ones in person.

Seeing people physically is important for staving off loneliness, and hugs are great for releasing happy hormones, but Zoom and technology helps keep your memory sharp. Remember, the greater the variety of communications the better, so a blended approach is preferable to get every advantage.

To supplement your in-person visits to your loved one with technology, why not:

· Read to them over a video call

· Find an online book club for them

· Get them to read to your children or grandchildren

· Play games/simple quizzes via Zoom

· Host a family meal online

What are your favourite ways to use video and social media to keep in touch?