Another Confirmed Way to Reduce Risk of Memory Loss & Alzheimer’s
Research is showing us the benefits of social engagement as a determining factor for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as the risk of memory loss. Socializing strengthens the brain by improving brain chemistry and mood and by offering a deep sense of fulfillment inclusive to maintaining a sense of community.
Studies are offering proof that we should keep prioritizing community especially as we’re growing older and more susceptible to cognitive decline. For example, a longitudinal study published in Volume 155 of the American Journal of Epidemiology states:
“Stimulating activity, either mentally or socially oriented, may protect against dementia, indicating that both social interaction and intellectual stimulation may be relevant to preserving mental functioning in the elderly.”
The study examines 776 subjects 75 years or older who are interviewed by nurses and have follow-ups with physicians over approximately 8 years.
“Information on social and leisure activities was obtained from subjects by means of a personal interview carried out by trained nurses during the first examination.
Subjects were asked 1) whether they regularly engaged in any particular activities or participated in any organizations, 2) to specify the types of activities or organizations, and 3) to report the frequency of participation.”
Interestingly, the subjects who were deeply immersed in social engagement showed lower rates of Alzheimer’s and a lower risk of memory loss. The researchers credit the lower rate of Alzheimer’s with the mental stimulation involved with social interaction, but also with the deeper sense of meaning involved with a sense of community.
The results of this study are important to consider when thinking about following ARPF’s 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention program. The pillars included in the program encourage older adults to remain socially engaged late into life.
For example, the 4th pillar, Spiritual Fitness™, involves spending time creating meaning in your life, often by participating in group activities. This socialization can take place in the form of walking with friends, exercise classes, book or knitting clubs, or any other activity that facilitates positive social interaction.
Further, the 4th pillar suggests being of service to others whenever possible. Being of service will often include deep, meaningful, mentally stimulating interaction with other people.
ARPF’s Brain Longevity Therapy Training (BLTT) also proves to be a wonderful way of building community among like-minded people. We are looking forward to giving you tools and support to build programs in your local community. ARPF’s next BLTT is taking place from October 24th to 27th, 2019. Be sure to read the entire course description which details the exciting modules and other key information.