Alzheimer’s Australia says research suggests that up to half the cases of Alzheimer’s disease "are potentially attributable to health and lifestyle factors that we can change”. *
"We now know that being physically active, looking after our heart, and participating in mentally challenging activities may help to reduce our risk of dementia," Alzheimer’s Australia says on its web site.
Researchers have found that mental decline as people age is generally due to altered connections among brain cells. Keeping the brain active may help to build reserves of brain cells and connections.
There are plenty of ways to keep your brain active every day:
- Learn something new: challenge your brain to tackle a new subject, perhaps something you never had time to do before retirement: learn a new language, take a course, or try a new activity.
- Stay involved in your community, or get involved: social engagement is important for many reasons, including wellbeing and fending off loneliness and depression. Meeting new people can also help stimulate brain activity and reduce the risk of dementia.
- Read, write or puzzle: pick up a book, write an email to a friend, work on Sudoku or crossword puzzles. There are plenty of safe web sites with game options such as the Victorian Government’s Seniors Online site, which is updated daily with trivia, codes and other puzzles, or the U.S. organisation AARP.
- Get out of the house: enjoy a free outing at a museum, local library or gallery, or a low-cost activity such as reduced price seniors’ tickets at the movies. If you’re geographically or physically isolated, check out U3A which has a wealth of online activities.
- Don’t forget exercise: a walk around the block, a spot of gardening or a seniors’ class at the local YMCA are all great ways to boost your brain function, because physical activity boosts the blood flow to your brain.
Alzheimer’s Australia has developed a special website called Your Brain Matters with more information about looking after your brain health.
We’re here to help
Taking care of your health is part of having a comfortable retirement; we can help you with the financial side. We can help manage your income in retirement so you can enjoy life and not worry about finances. Call us on 1300 033 166 or fill in our online contact form. There’s no additional charge for our phone-based service as this is included in your TelstraSuper membership.