Some of the most encouraging information I’ve found since I began writing about aging is that much of what we’ve assumed isn’t necessarily true. I confess that when I was younger I thought old people were “over the hill” as far as reaping the benefits of life. Even if they looked like they were doing well, surely the reality was far less superior than my youth? I was wrong. While there are advantages to being young, there is an equal number of benefits to getting older. I’m not suggesting that everything is perfect—at either age—but making the right choices and with the right guidance, many potential problems can be avoided and rewards enjoyed. What is true, with even as something as frightening as the potential for Alzheimer’s or dementia, is that there are lifestyle choices that you and I can make today that can help to reduce the risk. So instead of pretending or denying that such a possibility exists for many of us, isn’t it SMART to study up on current research that offers the most hopeful perspective? I sure think so! [Read more…]
My husband Thom grew up in a very religious household. A questioner by nature, he struggled to grasp what he was told without constantly asking for evidence. But one thing he heard stood out as absolutely true. Without a doubt, he knew deep in his heart and soul that the most prized possession on Earth, more precious than gold or jewels, had to be wisdom. The certainty of that awareness never wavered. As it turns out, new research appears to confirm that obtaining wisdom just might be central to what leads to a happy and healthy long life—in other words, a key to positive aging. And it’s likely that treasure is something all of us would like to experience in the years to come.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am fascinated by the brain and write about it frequently. That might be because I’m a woman in my early sixties, had a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her early 70’s, and have a sister just a couple of years older than me that constantly affirms, “I can’t remember anything!” and then does her best to prove it. So, for several reasons including the fact that I’m a writer, I’ve grown attached to my brain and it’s creativity and strive to discover everything I can to help it stay healthy and functioning. As it turns out, we can do plenty. But we have to be willing to take care of and exercise our brains just like we do our bodies, or we’ll likely get whatever chance throws our way.