Monday, July 23, 2007

Elderly Brain Health: It's Never Too Late to Exercise.

Do you really lose it if you don’t use it? Is it no pain, no healthy brain? That depends on the people you ask. Before you start asking, however, keep in mind the DNA factor that we all have when it comes to heredity. Aside from that, we can do a lot ourselves to keep from losing our capacities to stay sharp mentally and possibly keep dementia at bay. An important key is to start exercising our brains early when we are young, in preparation for when we get old. But it’s never too late to start.

Speaking of brain exercise, here’s one submitted by Javan at Braingle: Brain Teasers, Puzzles, Riddles, Trivia, and Games. Answers are at the end of this post:

Find out what the animals are! For example, "to run away or escape" would be a "flea.”

1. Hair-control foam
2. Very exposed
3. Telling falsities
4. A lamenting cry
5. A dull person
6. A precious or loved one
7. First, you get a parking ticket, and then you get this.
8. These make up a chain.

A study by Advanced Cognitive Training for Independence and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), which included about 3,000 volunteers, concluded that after 18 instructional hours of varied thinking skills, participants were still better at those skills five years later. Learning to do new and challenging activities during old age has its benefits.

Even better is coming to old age with a history of being mentally active, with brain power in reserve. Good nutrition and physical exercise will enhance chances of success even more. One study showed that physical exercise by seniors increases brain power. Start crunching and doing that brain cardio. You can listen to more about maintaining a healthy brain in old age at the Web site.

Okay, here are the animal answers:

1.Moose (Mousse)
2. Bear (Bare)
3. Lion (Lyin')
4. Whale (Wail)
5. Boar (Bore)
6. Deer (Dear)
7. Toad (Towed)
8. Lynx (Links)

Whether you have them all right or not, your brain is healthier for trying. Congratulations!

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. AnonymousJuly 23, 2007

    Great post! I wholeheartedly agree that brain exercise can only bring about benefits, a little hard work never hurt anyone. While puzzles, crosswords and soduku are worthwhile for mental stimulation, I think it is vital to find a scientifically validated brain program. Posit Science corporation out of San Francisco has an excellent program, which is backed up by some truly legitimate scientific data, check it out!

  2. Exercising the mind is an excellent way to ward off dementia. Lifelong learning I say.


    Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC