Age related cognitive decline
Many aging adults are troubled by the small signs that they are not as sharp mentally as they used to be. You may share some of these worries:
- Are you concerned that you are losing your edge?
- Do you struggle to find the right word?
- Do you find yourself forgetful, distracted?
- Is your thinking a little slow?
Even though you may be concerned about cogntive decline, you may joke about “senior moments”. Maybe you try to resign yourself to these weaknesses. You probably are developing new strategies to cope… “I just won’t use names anymore. No one will notice.”
You are not alone. Recent research has shown that 22% of those age 71 or older show clinical signs of mild cognitive impairment. A much higher percentage of older adults are just not functioning as well as they would like.
You can stay sharp
The research is clear. For many, brain aging does lead to cognitive decline: problems with attention and remembering new information, slower thinking, reduced problem solving. But research is also suggesting that this does not have to happen to you. Experts in neuroscience research are very clear: by making planned use of the brain’s amazing ability to reshape itself, which neuroscience calls neuroplasticity, you can get sharp and stay sharp as you age.
“The good news is that the brain is plastic until you die. That means you can count on it staying vibrant and alert if you stoke its electric engine with novelty and challenge. The goal is to drive our aging and less efficient brains in a positive and corrective direction…Don’t rest on your laurels. Quit complaining and buck up.”