One of the biggest fears our readers have is that they will eventually be faced with memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease & Dementia looms in the back of our collective minds. For that very reason we have been beating the REWIRING drum since the first edition of our book, Don’t Retire, REWIRE! was published, encouraging people to continue to be active and involved in life. We know that for many people retirement can be deadly. If you stop work and go on a permanent vacation, you run the risk of letting your mind and your body atrophy.
We are not medical doctors or psychologists, but we are always looking for news that will be useful to our readers. We are happy to report that the news isn’t all bleak. Alzheimer’s & Dementia Weekly cites an article in The New England Journal of Medicine that reports that the rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s are going down. How can that be? While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are lifestyle adjustments people are making around the globe to postpone memory loss. It is all about rewiring and how you look at and what you do in the future. Exercise is the number activity recommended. Forty-five minutes, four days a week of aerobics…..walking, jogging, biking, etc. is the number one thing you can do to help your body and your mind. Exercise goes hand in hand with having a healthy diet. Maintaining your optimal weight is another important aspect to consider at this life stage.
Having an active social life and staying engaged with others is mandatory. Social interaction keeps the brain stimulated. Having fun, doing volunteer work, attending religious services and activities with others can all have a very positive effect.
Don’t forget your annual physical. Find out if you have high blood pressure…..today it is easily treatable. High cholesterol is also very treatable. A healthy diet helps, but there are medications available to lower it, too. And for heaven’s sake, STOP SMOKING. That is the worst self-inflicted injury that can be avoided.
Stay working as long as you can. The seduction of early retirement is one of the most negative things you can do to yourself. Having a schedule, using your skills, solving problems are all ways to keep your brain running smoothly. If you are forced to retire, get rewired quickly.
Not everyone will avoid Alzheimer’s or dementia, but doing the above will slant the odds in your favor.