At Willson House one of our focuses is to help our residents stay healthy and strong both in mind and body. We will be conducting brain training classes again in the fall and have several fun workshops scheduled for October as part of “Healthy Brain Month.”
Dr. Rob Winningham, Psychology Professor at Western Oregon University, is working with Willson House on October 2nd from 6-7:30pm. He will be here, in person, to tell us what we can all do to keep our memory strong. He’s a very entertaining speaker and we are excited to have him come to share his 20+ years of research with us about how the brain works and why memory begins to change. Mark your calendar to be part of this fun, informative night.
The following article is written by Dr. Winningham. This is Part 1 of the article called Train Your Brain: Maximize Memory Ability By Staying Cognitively and Physically Active
Memory: Use It or Lose It
Numerous studies have reported that older adults who engage in a greater number of cognitively stimulating activities are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. For example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Verghese and his colleagues found that older adults who reported doing the greatest number of cognitively stimulating leisure activities were 63% less likely to develop dementia as compared to their more sedentary counterparts. Another study published by Dr. Wilson and colleagues found that people who participated in the greatest number of activities were 47% less likely to develop dementia in the next 4.5 years.
We can create opportunities for ourselves, loved ones, and others that take advantage of use it or lose it principle, which can lead to measurable gains in memory abilities.
Here are 10 Cognitively Stimulating Activities:
1. Read a book
2. Order a subscription to a newspaper
3. Take a class at a senior center
4. Join a club or other organization
5. Visit with friends
7. Play Sudoku www.krazydad.com/sudoku
8. Do Word Finds (a.k.a. word searches)
9. Join a discussion group or an online book club at www.seniornet.org
10. Begin using Nintendo’s Brain Age games
Next week we will talk about how staying physically active can help you stay mentally sharp.