Keep Your Brain Active

by Shirley PriceMost of us know the saying “if you don’t use it you lose it”. This certainly applies to your brain so it’s really important especially as we age that we keep an active mind. When we were younger attending school and university then going into the workplace, and bringing up children our brains automatically kept active. When we leave the workplace and maybe spend a lot more time on our own and don’t really have to think about too much it’s easy to let your brain rest to the point it can almost become stagnant.

There’s a tremendous amount of talk about dementia and Alzheimer’s and like anything else that causes ill health and discomfort we want to do our very best to not be affected by these diseases. Most of us tend to think that dementia will only affect the elderly when in fact it can affect people in their 40s. It’s just as important to exercise our minds as it is body.

Staying alert is extremely important especially for those that drive. We all want to keep our independence for as long as we possibly can. Driving a car is a big responsibility and a major source of independence for many of us. One that we never want to give up. If you happen to live in an area with an excellent public transport system giving up your vehicle may not be as big a sacrifice. For those living in more rural areas with little or no public transport that totally rely on driving themselves where they need to go it would be very difficult.

We often don’t realize how important this is until we are faced with some major change in our life. I recently met a lady that suffers with extreme arthritis. She sat with me at the local coffee shop

and explained that her building was having a new elevator installed and this meant that she had to move out of her apartment for about four weeks while this work was being done. She wasn’t able to drive and even public transport was a challenge for her. She relied on Handy Dart which collects and takes people that have challenges to community and senior centers and also to appointment they have to attend. The problem was Handy Dart was on strike and had been for about four weeks leaving her and many others having to use a taxi cab which is costly. This really made me appreciate being able to get my own vehicle and drive wherever I needed to.

We are aware that as we age our eyesight and hearing diminish, our reflexes get slower and there are other factors that can affect the way we drive including medications. Therefore we need to have the self-awareness to know when our ability to drive safely is inhibited and we may become a danger to ourselves and others.

There are many ways to keep a healthy body and mind. Staying actively involved in life, participating in hobbies and having interests will keep both body and mind active. Learning a new skill is an excellent way to exercise your brain. Staying involved with life by getting together with friends for some fun and healthy activities.
Besides the more common ways to exercise your brain there are a number of brain exercise programs like the Train Your Brain Clinically Proven Brain Fitness Programs from Posit Science

Many seniors are becoming more interested in the internet, not only that many seniors are really internet savvy. Seniors are the largest group of new internet users.  It’s another great way to keep your brain active. You can research anything and if your into crosswords or games there’s lots to offer. Not to mention the fact that it’s a great way to stay in touch with those you love. If you haven’t got into it yet or thinking or getting more serious Amazon is a great place to check them out.

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