I will admit that I have been thinking about my age and my brain lately. What can I do to give my brain the best chance at staying healthy through my later years?
If you pay attention to the latest news on Alzheimer’s prevention, you have probably heard plenty of stories about different substances that may or may not slow down memory loss. One recent study claimed that a compound found in Marijuana may help to remove toxic proteins from the brain. Other research has pointed to red wine as having potential benefits.
It’s difficult to think about Alzheimer’s without getting a little sad.
My parents died when I was quite young, so, I haven’t experienced this horrible disease directly. That said, I have spoken with many women in the community who are caregivers for one or more parents with dementia. Their stories of struggle are simultaneously heart-breaking and inspiring.
You know that awful moment when you’re standing in the middle of the living room, wondering, “Why am I here?” No, not the existential “Why am I here?” as in your reason for living, but the more ordinary “Why did I just walk into this room?”
When my wife and I babysat our two grandchildren this past weekend, we knew we would have fun. But we didn’t know we would be boosting our brain power as well.
When my children were young, I used to love to read Dr. Seuss books to them. There was something about the strange characters and wonderful worlds that sent all of us into uncontrollable fits of giggling. It’s a shame that, as adults, we are expected to be so serious. It’s almost as if we forget how to appreciate the silly, nonsensical moments in life.
If movies, TV shows and magazines are to be believed, turning 60 marks the beginning of a downward spiral towards forgetfulness, dementia and, eventually, death. From this perspective, the brain is a wonderful machine that gets rustier and rustier, until it finally breaks for good. Talk about depressing!
Most people in their 60s aren’t overly concerned about brain health. After all, most boomers are decades away from encountering any potential brain health issues. At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence that says that the decisions that we make now, 60s, may have a profound impact on our health in our later years.
As we reach 60s, baby boomers are starting to reevaluate our place in the world. This is only natural. After decades of looking after other people, many of us finally have an opportunity to take a step back and ask the “big questions.” It’s not that we are less busy. If anything, baby boomers are ramping up, not winding down. At the same time, as we get a little older, our focus is shifting.
Surviving is not enough. We want our lives to matter. Just like we did as teenagers, we are once again asking, “What’s my purpose in life?”