Brain aging is a trick. Nature sets your parents up for decline, but they have a choice. Brain fitness will allow them to strengthen new brain cells through cognitive reserve. Here's how.
The folks in this video are fabulous. Humor, joy, energy. They are delighting in their life and entertaining not only the people who were there, but everyone who sees this video. Their love of life is infectious.
And --- they are 90 years old.
No rocking chair in sight. No giving up on life because they think it is behind them.
Living this way didn't just start when they turned 90 -- they made a decision a long time ago that the purpose of life was to experience and spread joy. And they made a decision that they would never quit. They found activities that they enjoy, a hobby they could share, and a community that they could engage.
All of this has scientific significance.
One study found
"...people who remain intellectually active and engaged in hobbies throughout their lives reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In a 2001 study conducted by Dr. Yaakov Stern, leading researcher on the cognitive reserve, individuals with the highest level of leisure activities presented thirty-eight percent less risk (controlling for other factors) of developing Alzheimer’s symptoms. For each additional type of activity, the risks were reduced by eight percent. It is believed that intellectually stimulating hobbies or activities help building up cognitive reserve. This can help postponing the appearance of the dementia’s symptoms."
Talk to your parents about the myth of the aging brain and how we falsely believe in our limits and inevitable decline. Getting them to engage in life and the hobbies they may once have enjoyed but put aside will be important not only for the quality of their life experience, but also the health of their brains.