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Rockin' and Talkin' with the Clinton Seniors' Association

There are many ways to expand your brain power as you grow older
The Clinton Seniors' Association is now on hiatus for the summer, but will be resuming meetings in September.

July, with its days of blue skies and time that seemingly stands still, holds a special place in my heart.

Daisaku Ikeda

Thank you to everyone who helped in any way and supported the July 1 yard sale at the Clinton Seniors' Centre. Your presence was appreciated.

Over the past several months I have shared many thoughts and ideas about aging gracefully. Not everyone approaches aging in a positive way. The experience can be a source of anxiety.

The brain keeps all of the body systems functioning, helping an individual to think critically and process information and emotions, and it is the place where memories are stored. The National Institute on Aging says changes occur in the brain that can lead to difficulty with memory as people grow older. These changes may include a reduced ability to recall information as quickly as one once did.

The good news is that the brain has a lifelong ability to get stronger. We can bolster our brain reserves and reduce the risk of decreasing our cognitive ability. Here are a few activities to help keep your mind sharp:

1) Play card games and board games and do word puzzles. A wide variety of crosswords and brainteasers exercise the brain by causing people to think and strategize, and require a person to utilize parts of the brain responsible for language and word recall.

2) Try a new hobby. Choose something unfamiliar and different from things you normally do. New activities require learning new skills, which forces your brain to work harder and build new pathways.

3) Exercise your mind and body together. For example, take dance lessons. This activity combines a physical challenge and the mental task of learning new steps and remembering choreography.

4) Join a book club. Not only will this help a person to read more, but will also promote interaction with other adults.

5) Craft projects. As well as boosting brain health and mental activity, engaging in such an endeavour can help reduce stress, which is beneficial to both the mind and body.

6) Learn a foreign language. Acquiring a new language challenges the brain in many ways.

7) Become more aware of social connections. Spending time with family and friends can be good for the brain, as the oral exchange stimulates the memory and may reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

This is just a brief sampling of simple things you can do to boost your brain health and stave off the onset of Alzheimers and dementia, while providing countless hours of pleasure as well.

The Clinton Seniors' Association will adjourn for the summer. The next regular meeting will be on Thursday, Sept. 19; come and join us! Meetings are every third Thursday of the month, following lunch at the Clinton Seniors' Centre at 217 Smith Avenue.

Happy Birthday to Helene Cade (July 22).

Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.

Decimus Magnus Ausonius