Many of my patients are retirees. Some fill their days with challenging volunteer work and a wealth of activities. These people remain as vital and engaged in life as they were at their jobs.
But unfortunately, other retirees languish.
It is these patients that concern me the most. These are the ones that seem to develop confusion and eventually dementia as they grow older.
Research is suggesting that such a lack of engagement could raise the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2013, French researchers presented a study at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston in which they reported that people who put off retirement until 65 had almost 15 percent less likelihood of developing the disease than those people who retired at the age of 60.
The study excluded people with Parkinson’s disease or any other early signs of dementia.
This study underscores the “use it or lose it,” principle in which I have always believed.
If you are nearing retirement age, you might consider postponing that decision or make sure that you’ve developed a full range of interests that will keep you active and engaged even if you are no longer working.
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