When we talk with our clients about healthy aging, the biggest single thing most of them worry about is cognitive decline. There is probably no other health condition that so completely robs retirees of their dream to live independently. Cognitive decline is often the chief factor that results in seniors being forced into institutional care against their wishes.
But here’s the good news: cognitive decline is not inevitable as we age. That’s according to a major study on brain health conducted by the National Academy of Science and cosponsored by AARP. There are several things you can do – and several things you should avoid – if you want to maximize your Brain Health. Click here to read the related article on the AARP website.
For example, exercise is clearly linked to retaining cognitive health. It’s especially effective if instead of shorter sessions you exercise for 30 minutes or more at a time. Another brain-saving activity is staying socially active , a broad category that includes challenging your brain with card games, volunteering, and attending worship services. The study further shows that a healthy diet, adequate sleep and proper heart health are all also closely linked to preserving mental acuity as we age.
By contrast, the article spotlights several cautionary factors. For example, depression can double the risk of cognitive decline, and even stress has been linked to accelerated loss in mental acuity. Some medications can also pose a particular danger for aging seniors concerned about brain health.
To learn more about issues related to aging, particularly about the relationship between your physical and mental health and the kinds of living choices that will be available to you, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming Life Planning Seminars near you. Click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website.
(originally reported at www.aarp.org)