Be Social. Close
ties with others can improve the cognitive performance of older people,
according to a US population study on aging and other research done
by Dr. Martin Prince and others at the Royal Free Hospital in
London, UK. shows that social intercourse with friends speeds up
recovery after illness.
Social support can come from relationships with friends, relatives or carers.
A Canadian study publised
in 2003, identified a lack of relationships with friends and family as
a risk factor for cognitive decline. The study, which followed
people over the age of 65 for four years, found that the probability of
maintaining good cognitive function was highest among peple who
socialised often and had strong social ties; the probability of losing
cognitive function was highest among people who had the least
Social engagement often
goes hand in hand with intellectually stimulating activities which in
turn promote good memory function. Reading is good but it is
a solitary activity however card games, bingo, chess,
dominoes, yatze to name but a few, encourage brain cells to fire off
and prevent them from atrophying.
Social relationships can
also help support you during stressful times, reducing the damaging
effects that stress can have on the brain.
The internet has become a
wonderful tool for keeping brains active. If you live in an
isolated area, or are housebound, joining forums on the internet is
stimulating. If you are no longer able to take part in activities
that you did when you were more mobile or able to get to social
gathering, it is possible to search on the net for like-minded people
who share the same interest.