Dementia Care in North Yorkshire: Exercise May be Better than Mental Stimulation

Sunday, 28th October 2012

Published 28 October 2012.

A report published this week in Neurology, the journal of The American Academy of Neurology, has indicated that exercising in later life may be more beneficial to preventing conditions such as dementia than social or mental stimulation.

Experts at the University of Edinburgh used MRI scans to measure the volume and health of brain matter in approximately 700 people aged over 70. They studied levels of physical activity ranging from basic domestic work at home to more strenuous exercise, and also looked at whether participants were mentally stimulated through activities such as reading or social interaction.

Results showed that older people who took regular exercise showed less brain shrinkage over a 3-year period than those who did little exercise. Those who participated in more social or mental stimulation did not experience any benefits to brain health.

Professor Clive Ballard, Research Director at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “Dementia is one of people’s biggest fears in later life, but there are ways for people to help reduce their risk of developing the condition. Keeping your mind stimulated can be fun, but exercise has been proven to prevent cognitive decline in many studies. This research gives people further reason to get active and workout to ward off dementia.”

About Carefound:

Carefound is a provider of specialist home care and dementia care services to elderly people in North Yorkshire, enabling clients to continue to live independently in the comfort of their own home whilst maintaining the highest quality of life achievable. Services provided include basic help in the home,companionship, personal care, medication help, post-operative rehabilitation, respite care and specialist help such as dementia care and palliative care. The flexible service ranges from 1 hour to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays, and can also encompass 24-hour live in care services.

Source: Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, University of Edinburgh, Carefound.