According to a new study, older adults who participate in multiple daily activities could reduce their risk of dementia. The research from Simon Fraser University found that engaging in a combination of hobbies such as exercise and connecting with loved ones can reduce memory decline in adults aged 65 to 89 compared to any individual activity.
The research published in the journal Aging examined data from the National Institute on Aging’s Health and Retirement Study, which included 3,210 participants. All were asked how often they engaged in 33 activities from ‘never’ to ‘at least once a month’ to ‘several times a month’ up to ‘daily.’
A machine learning model was used to analyze the activities’ impact on memory, ranging from hobbies such as cooking and reading to playing games and walking for 20 minutes.
Study co-author Sylivain Moreno said, “Our study results show that the risk of developing dementia can be reduced through a combination of active, daily activities – things like using a computer and playing word games.”
Previously, researchers had believed that genetics was the main factor that influenced cognitive health, but these new findings suggest the reverse. Researchers now believe that as people age, their daily activities are more important than genetics or current cognitive skills.
Older adults are more at risk for developing dementia, so prevention is important. As people age, they also tend to have smaller social circles and fewer hobbies or activities. However, this study helps to show the importance of keeping active.
Memory and brain function is important to nurture as you age. Care for patients with dementia is challenging, so strategies for treatment and prevention can help the patient and our healthcare system.
Engaging in multiple activities with regular physical activity can help keep the brain healthy, and following a diet rich in nutrients and vitamins is known to help with cognitive function. However, getting the required amounts of vitamins and minerals from foods isn’t always possible, so supplementation may be necessary. The Smart Pill contains 9 essential ingredients to help support and maximize brain health and cognitive function.