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The Journal on Active Aging brings articles of value to professionals dedicated to older-adult quality of life. Content sweeps across the active-aging landscape to focus on education and practice. Find articles of interest by searching the article archives in three ways: Enter a keyword in the articles search bar; click on search by topic; or type a keyword or phrase in the general search bar at the top of the page.

Topic- Cognitive health

 

Healthy balance, brains & bones, part two: 'watering' the brain by Mary E. Sanders, PhD, FACSM, RCEP-1170

Healthy balance, brains & bones, part two: 'watering' the brain by Mary E. Sanders, PhD, FACSM, RCEP

Nancy found the phone number she needed as the doorbell rang. But after dashing to the porch, she promptly forgot what she had been doing moments before. Chances are Nancy’s forgetfulness is normal aging. Still, she can take action to help boost her brainpower, store information and stay equipped to do something with it. Smart training targets cognitive and executive function skills.

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Cognitive health

Take a month to celebrate brain health  by Terry Fay-1132

Take a month to celebrate brain health by Terry Fay

How could we show older adult residents and staff that brain health activities are all around us, every day? The answer was a Cerebral Celebration! In March, residents of 33 Senior Lifestyle Corporation communities experienced a month-long celebration of brain health awareness, learning and participation.

Cerebral Celebration took place over a month because there were too many ideas and exercises or experiences to include in a shorter amount of time. We did not want the pace to feel frantic. For the program to be appropriately challenging, 31 days would be the right window.

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Cognitive health

Creative tools for developing cognitive fitness  by Martha Grove Hipskind, MSPH-1101

Creative tools for developing cognitive fitness by Martha Grove Hipskind, MSPH

Demographic trends and projections indicate that the likelihood of our living to age 100 is increasing exponentially (1, 2). And yet, when you ask a group of older adults whether they look forward to such longevity, most condition their responses with one of two immediate qualifiers: “IF I have my health” or “IF I have my mind.”

Having spent 10 years working directly with individual families struggling to understand their loved ones’ dementia, while also speaking and training on topics related to aging, I can say with confidence that fear of losing our memory runs deep. Memory change with age is an area we know little about, and most people are often afraid to ask about it.

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Cognitive health

Healthy brain aging: why we need to retool 'Use it or lose it' by Alvaro Fernandez, MA, MBA-1033

Healthy brain aging: why we need to retool 'Use it or lose it' by Alvaro Fernandez, MA, MBA

By now you have probably heard about brain plasticity, the lifelong capacity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stimulation of learning and experience. The latest scientific research shows that specific lifestyles and actions can improve the health and level of functioning of our brains, no matter our age.

Of particular importance to maintaining cognitive functioning through life are the hippocampus (deep inside the brain, part of what is called the limbic system), which plays a role in learning and memory; and the frontal lobes (behind your forehead), which are key to maintaining decision-making and autonomy. Is there a way to physically protect these parts of the aging brain? Yes. But the right answer is far from “do one more crossword puzzle” or “do more X” (whatever X is). The key is to add significantly different activities to ensure a flow of novelty, variety and challenge, combining physical and mental exercise while not ignoring factors such as stress management and balanced nutrition.

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Cognitive health

Maintaining fitness across cognitive levels by Muire Lindahl-497

Maintaining fitness across cognitive levels by Muire Lindahl

Fitness staff working in senior-living facilities frequently witness the disabling changes in residents caused by the progression of cognitive impairment. To watch a once vibrant and independent resident lose the ability of self-care can be the hardest part of the work we do. However, we needn’t watch with despair; we can advocate for the resident and continue providing opportunities for exercise as long as possible.

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Cognitive health

Brain Aerobics class stimulates the mind by Kathy Laurenhue-384

Brain Aerobics class stimulates the mind by Kathy Laurenhue

Everyone I meet professionally-and nearly everyone I meet socially-is worried about the state of his or her brain. Virtually everyone over 50 seems to make self-deprecating jokes about "senior moment" memory lapses. ("I don't have All-zheimer's yet, but I have Half-zheimer's!")

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Cognitive health

Total items: 25

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