Manual Brain Health (Retirement Wow! Book 4)

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I love it. More companies are institutionalizing phased-retirement programs, offering older employees the opportunity to consult on occasional special projects. Sticking around part-time to mentor younger employees is another hot area, he says. And many boomers are building on their talent, skills and knowledge by becoming entrepreneurs.

A survey by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation showed that a quarter of all businesses formed in were started by people 55 to Most are sole proprietorships; a lot are consultancies, says Farrell. Albert Tripodi is one of 50 retired physicians who volunteer at the Senior Friendship Centers' medical clinics. Albert Tripodi, 77, is a case in point. Tripodi had heard of the Senior Friendship Centers medical clinics, which are staffed by all-volunteer retired physicians and dentists. I started out slowly a few hours a week and built up more and more. Today Tripodi is volunteer medical director of the Friendship Center clinics.

He spends four to six hours one day a week seeing from six to 12 patients and another day doing administrative duties and serving on the Friendship Centers board of directors.

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The way Tripodi defines retirement is the key to why some retirees succeed in Sarasota while others struggle, says Brad Edmondson, former editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine and a Venice native who frequently contributes to Sarasota Magazine. Baby boomers retiring to Sarasota, like most boomers, are likelier to be college educated than the previous generation, he says. He cites an article he wrote for AARP The Magazine a few years ago about retirees who pulled up roots and landed in Florida without knowing a soul.

Your finances also play a large role in retirement.


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Millions of people in their 60s and 70s will keep working because they have to. Bob Vedder retired in after 31 years as publisher of the Venice Gondolier Sun. I arranged to get some hanging baskets, 50 pots, fountains, statues—throwing a lot of color and beauty and some art at our downtown.

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For five years I did the watering myself; the city took it over last month and freed me to do a lot more planting. And Edmondson suggests one more way retirees could get involved. The segregation between those groups makes it more difficult for you to build community. Such segregation is not unique to Sarasota, he says, but unlike some cities, Sarasota has the ability to do something about it.

If we harnessed those numbers and that talent to help bring our separate communities together, great things could happen, he says. Sarasota psychologist Barbara J. Today they're just more engaged. Cynthia McCague retired in as head of global human resources for Coca-Cola. Adults with hearing loss are significantly more likely than adults with normal hearing to develop dementia. Fortunately, there's a potential upside. If this connection — shown in several recent and well-regarded studies — holds up, it raises the possibility that treating hearing loss more aggressively could help stave off cognitive decline and dementia.

Lin and other researchers have several theories about the possible explanation for the link between hearing and dementia, although they aren't yet sure which of them — if any — will prove true.

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Lin is the author of several recent studies pointing to a link between hearing and cognitive problems ranging from mild impairment all the way to dementia. In a study, he and his colleagues tracked the overall cognitive abilities including concentration, memory and planning skills of nearly 2, older adults whose average age was After six years, those who began the study with hearing loss severe enough to interfere with conversation were 24 percent more likely than those with normal hearing to see their cognitive abilities diminish.

Essentially, the researchers said, hearing loss seemed to speed up age-related cognitive decline. In a study focusing on dementia, Lin and his colleagues monitored the cognitive health of people who were mentally sharp when the study began. The researchers tested the volunteers' mental abilities regularly, following most for about 12 years, and some for as long as 18 years. The results were striking: The worse the initial hearing loss was, the more likely the person was to develop dementia.

Compared with people of normal hearing, those with moderate hearing loss had triple the risk. Lin is quick to point out that simply being at increased risk does not mean a person is certain to develop dementia. I was talking to her about my research and she looks at me and says, 'Are you telling me I'm definitely going to get dementia?

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Mosnier studied a group of 94 people ages 65 to 85 with profound deafness in at least one ear. Each received a cochlear implant followed by twice-weekly auditory rehabilitation. Murali Doraiswamy, M. While the link between hearing loss and milder cognitive problems has been questioned by some, it is becoming increasingly accepted.

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It should be the first thing we focus on. Still, he adds, "We need long-term controlled trials looking at whether cochlear implants can delay the onset of dementia in at-risk subjects, which will clinch the case. How might hearing loss contribute to cognitive problems and dementia? Lin suggests four possibilities. The most obvious is a common physiological pathway that contributes to both hearing loss and cognitive decline — something like high blood pressure , for instance.

But he and other researchers used statistical methods to take into account the factors known to be associated with both conditions, so Lin doesn't give this explanation much credence. Another possibility has to do with what researchers refer to as "cognitive load" — essentially, that the effort of constantly straining to understand stresses the brain. This one makes intuitive sense.


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  5. Research in Wingfield's lab has documented this effect on a short-term basis. The big question, he says, is whether years of drawing resources away from brain functions such as working memory will eventually reduce the brain's resilience. Kathleen Pichora-Fuller, a psychologist from the University of Toronto, is conducting research to test the hypothesis that treating hearing loss in those with dementia will help to optimize communication, with positive effects on everyday well-being for the patient and caregivers.

    A third factor, Wingfield and Lin suggest, is that hearing loss may affect brain structure in a way that contributes to cognitive problems. Brain imaging studies, Wingfield says, show that older adults with hearing loss have less gray matter in the part of their brain that receives and processes sounds from the ears. Certain structures of brain cells can shrink when they don't get enough stimulation. This raises the question, Wingfield says, whether getting clearer speech signals to the brain through use of a modern hearing aid might allow these brain structures to recover their previous size and function.

    Finally, it seems very likely that social isolation plays a part. Being hard of hearing tends to isolate people from others: When you have to struggle to converse, you're less likely to want to socialize in groups or go out to restaurants. And being socially isolated has long been recognized as a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. It will probably take much more research to tease out what factors might be at play. Most important, Lin says, is to find out whether providing state-of-the-art hearing loss treatment can prevent or delay cognitive decline and dementia.