It’s been found that retiring later in life may slow the development of dementia, and now there’s reason to believe that the type of work makes a big difference in sustaining brain function, too.
German researchers conducting a review of the literature found that a work environment that offers a rich intellectual experience, engagement with others, work with data, as well as a high degree of job control may lower risk for dementia later in life. The risk is lowered with each year a person works.
Jobs with a high mental demand keep the brain exercising – testing old and new pathways – which support overall brain function, even well into adulthood. As the world of work is undergoing fundamental changes, such as accelerated technological advances and an aging working population, optimizing work conditions is essential in order to promote and maintain cognitive abilities into old age.
Older adults who are still able to work may have a new incentive to stay at their position if they are engaged in this type of work. If your position is not challenging, seek out projects that may provide greater mental stimulation (data analysis, reading and writing, team management, for example.)
For those who cannot work, and for seniors, there are still plenty of ways to engage in mental stimulation and challenge that may protect against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. For senior care providers like Wilf Campus, it is further evidence that seniors need activities and programs that allow them to engage in intellectually challenging, collaborative and meaningful ‘work.’ (As well as evidence-based programs that specifically work on memory improvement).
There are also programs offered on our Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood for seniors who have memory impairments and dementia care needs. We also offer programs led by members of the Wilf Team both on the campus and in the community by certified “brain health” coaches.