Most of us are well aware what normal, healthy aging looks like on the outside of our bodies.
However, do you know what healthy aging looks like for your brain? (Interesting Fact: your brain’s best years peak at 30!)
In my next four blogs that I’m titling “What Is Healthy Aging of the Brain?” we’ll discover just what healthy aging of the brain truly means — what is normal, and what isn’t — comparing the two, so you’ll have the knowledge to take positive steps to assist your loved one.
We’ll also talk about the start of cognition issues which many people assume to be Alzheimer’s Disease… but could have up to 100 different causes, and we’ll “shatter the myths” of dementia.
For today, let’s dive into the normal aging process of the brain:
Much of what we learn about aging is often in the form of “myths”. If our knowledge is from this source — we’re often fearful and unhappy as we approach healthy aging.
With the human body:
1. Aging isn’t one-size-fits-all: we don’t age in the same way, or at the same rate.
2. Beginning at 30 years of age, most organs of our body lose function at a rate of 1% per year. Although most of these changes are not seen until after the age of 70.
3. Changes occur gradually, beginning in early adulthood. However, the actual amount of loss remains undetected until it’s fairly extensive — due to our organs’ unique ability to adjust.
4.Our personal rate of aging and our organs’ efficiency is affected by the presence of disease and the body’s ability to adapt to external STRESS.
The areas influenced by age-related decline include: overall slowness in thinking, difficulty sustaining attention, multitasking, holding information in-mind, and “word finding”. (Remember folks: this is NORMAL — these age-related declines don’t mean that you have Alzheimer’s. If we never forget anything, our mind wouldn’t be able to do its job!)
Not ALL thinking abilities decline with age. The following 3 remain unchanged — or even, improve — during our aging process: Vocabulary, Reading and Verbal Reasoning.
In my own aging process, I find that I do better with one-on-one communications. Too many stimuli at one time just does not do well with me now. I’m still learning, reading and comfortable knowing that new information can be learned.
In my next blog (part 2), we’ll discuss what is NOT normal aging as it applies to our brain.
Until then, remember: its OK if you lose your car keys! The trick is knowing what to do with them when you find them…unless they are found in the refrigerator. If so, PLEASE call me!
Remember to enjoy the time we have.
P.S. Leave a comment below and tell me if you’ve noticed any signs of healthy brain aging. In yourself, or a loved one.
To maintain healthy brain activity at while at home, try one of our online classes. We have courses available for painting, music, fitness, book clubs, and more. Click here to explore!