Let’s face it – as we get older, our memory does not seem quite as sharp as in years past. While we may not remember where the car keys are, or the name of the actor in the 1974 movie you just saw on TV, it does not mean you can’t start strengthening your memory.

Experts offer these tips:

– Exercise your mind and body: Exercise, whether it’s walking briskly or doing a crossword puzzle every day, will help keep your brain strong. In studies concerning the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for long term memory, there has been shown a positive effect between aerobic exercise (which may help increase the size of the hippocampus) and memory performance.

– Reduce stress: Stress can actually kill precious brain cells. Try to stop stressing about things you have no control over.

– Visualize: Picture what you’re trying to recall. For example, take a moment to remember where you are when you park the car. Take in the surroundings, particularly stationary objects. Trees and buildings won’t move — unlike the car next to you.

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com