Our life expectancy continues to go up and up and the possibilities of living well into our 80’s, 90’s and even 100’s is becoming more and more common. Yet along with this, there has also been a corresponding increase in the rise of dementia, Alzheimer’s and people showing signs of cognitive decline as they get older.
I had seen my mother’s memory start to decline. Calls on the phone had become hard work as she got older. Literally, only a month after she passed, she had been scheduled for an assessment for dementia.
And my father, who I had become estranged from when I was still in my early 20’s, didn’t even recognize who I was when I visited him in a nursing home.
Could the same happen to me? Was the odd ‘senior moment’ just something to laugh off and nothing to be concerned about? By the time I reach ‘retirement age’ I could easily have another 30 more years. Would it be all fun and games or could I find myself not remembering who my future grandchildren and great-grandchildren were?
So, it had me thinking about what it was, in my parents’ lives, that could have led to these declines? Was it something in their genes, and so inevitable? Was it simply that their brains had worn out and broken down? Or did a lot of their lifestyle choices impact on their quality of life?
Surprisingly, until quite recently, we didn’t really know a lot about the brain, how it worked and how it changed over time. But it turns out that we now know that it’s very adaptable and moldable throughout our lives.
To that end I’m on a quest to discover the simple tricks and strategies that can stimulate the brain to adapt and maintain its full functioning capacity as we age. Maintaining our memory, our focus, our ability to think creatively and remain happy and contented throughout our lives.
And I’ll also be looking into the latest studies and research into the brain and discovering the cutting-edge advances that could hold the promise of a future where cognitive decline is a thing of the past and cognitive fitness is as achievable as physical fitness.