I wonder if “retirement” will be one of those words that get’s shelved as such a “twenty-tens” thing. Why the buzz about nixing retirement?
A study of nearly half a million people in France found that people who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. It is the largest study done thus far and backs up the theory about brainpower and the benefits of staying mentally (and physically) sharp. Researchers agree with the findings that working tends to keep people physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged. All of these things are known to help prevent cognitive decline.
“For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 percent,” said Carole Dufouil, a scientist as INSERM, the French government’s health research agency.
Are we turning the tide on what old age means and when society determines we’re used up? I certainly hope so! Famous people such as actress Betty White (95) and Warren Buffett (87) haven’t given up their day jobs, and neither have any intention of doing so!
104 year old Fauja Singh recently ran the UK based Mumbai Marathon and is to date the oldest running marathon runner in the world. He took up the sport at the spry age of 81!
Certainly we are seeing the tide change, as our health care and retirement systems reevaluate the worldwide longevity revolution. Living 30, 40 or more years in “retirement” is neither financially feasible or healthy for many many people, and it’s stretching federal and state budgets in ways that no one dreamed of decades ago.
So before gazing into your crystal ball and seeking that dreamy “retirement” you would be wise to consider what work brings you in keeping mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually young. If, after examining your decision, you opt for retirement, have a plan of filling your days with meaningful activities that are healthy for mind, body and soul. Follow the advise of professionals on healthy aging:
- Stay active. Many studies show exercise reduces dementia risk.
- Stay connected — join a club, travel, volunteer. Social ties boost brain health.
- Eat right. High cholesterol may contribute to stroke and brain cell damage, while dark vegetables and fruits may help protect brain cells.
- Do mentally challenging activities such as word puzzles and other things that stimulate thinking skills.
Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate Training Institute and a passionate advocate for older adults and those who care for them.