Delaying Retirement Slows Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Other Cognitive Decline

Delaying Retirement Slows Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Other Cognitive Decline

There is a common misconception that deteriorating brain function, such as cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and dementia, is a natural and inevitable part of aging. While genetics do play a role, the majority of people living with dementia, in fact, do not have a strong and known genetic link. For example, less than 5% of people living with dementia inherited it from a family member. 

Analyzing data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study, researchers from The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research found that people who work until they are 67 years old exhibit a slower rate of cognitive decline

Another study, published in the Social Science & Medicine: Population HealthJournal, also found that delaying retirement may be the key to a sharper brain. Now, we all have a solid reason to work a few more years before “peacing out” from our workplace for good.

Increasing retirement age in the U.S.

In 1983, the U.S. Congress mandated a law to gradually raise the retirement age, citing improvements in health among older people and increasing life expectancies. Due to this law, the age eligible for social security retirement benefits will be increased to 67 by 2023 and 70 by 2040.

Exercising your brain deters cognitive decline

However, it is not working itself that decreases cognitive decline. Rather, it is the act of exercising the brain consistently and frequently, notable in your later years, that builds your “brain health”.  

Hence, doing simple activities in your later years, such as card games, reading, word games, chess or learning a new language that stimulate the brain, may also do the job to keep your brain healthy. Dean Sherzai, M.D., and Ayesha Sherzai, M.D., neurologists and directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University stated that optimizing executive function and challenging your mind becomes increasingly crucial in your 40s and beyond. “It becomes exponentially more important to challenge the brain around your purpose as you get older,” says Dean. 

Make your choice

So, while retiring later can help slow cognitive decline, senior citizens can also participate in activities that challenge the brain to achieve similar results. Instead of seeing work or brain exercises as obstacles or in a negative light, people can motivate themselves to perform these tasks for the sake of a healthier brain and a brighter, longer, more electrifying and brainy future.

Header Image by freepik.com

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

Top 5 NFT Scam

Top 5 NFT Scam

From art pieces like EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS by Mike Winkelmann to cryptopunks and memes like Side-eyeing Chloe, the popularity of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) has been on the uptick. They have also been blowing up in value in 2021. NFT sale volumes have surged eightfold, reaching US$10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021.

What Brands Must Know About China’s Evolving Millennial Buyers

What Brands Must Know About China’s Evolving Millennial Buyers

Earlier this year, climate activist Greta Thunberg called out fast fashion consumers during an interview with a fashion magazine. She said, “If you are buying fast fashion, then you are contributing to that industry and encouraging them to expand and encouraging them to continue their harmful process.”

What Is Femtech and Are Femtech Companies on the Rise

What Is Femtech and Are Femtech Companies on the Rise?

Women’s needs have been largely neglected for years. They get fewer job opportunities, excessive household work, subpar pay and little healthcare attention. Well, no more. The rise of FemTech startups (largely women-run) is changing the healthcare landscape for women. As per a report by CBInsights, FemTech will be worth US$50 billion by 2025. So, what is FemTech, and how can you get started?

Workplace

The Power of Introverts at the Workplace

Psychologist Carl Jung describes introverts as people whose interests are directed inwards and towards their own thoughts or feelings. They typically struggle to adjust to social settings and are perceived as being reserved. Thus, at a workplace, the introvert might come across as a quiet or unsociable person and end up unnoticed, no matter how big their contributions might be.