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Dementia Prevention: Part Two

11 June, 2018

As always when I go to these fabulous courses, like the Norman Doidge The Power of Thought: Updates in Brain Plasticity, the hurly-burly of work and other commitments prevents me from doing as much writing as I would like about the nuggets or pearls of information I am able to glean from attending the course. But luckily I saw a patient recently who liked my blog on The Green Goblin: Dementia Prevention Part 1 and told me her little pearl of dementia prevention and as she kindly wrote a paragraph for me on it, I decided to do a quick post on it and create an on-going series of ideas and research on Dementia Prevention (and Management). I am definitely in for some more uni study, as recommended by Barbara, when I finally decide to slow down from (super-charged) full-time work and while I would love to do some research in pelvic floor matters, studying something completely removed from bladders and bowels does hold some appeal.

Here is Barbara’s blog:

In her blog, Sue Croft writes about the importance of reducing our risk of dementia. She lists reducing social isolation, exercising, sleeping well and reducing inflammation in the body as some of the ways to reduce our risk of dementia

Another strategy is to ‘study all your life’ or be a life-long learner, so I’ll share my brain-training strategy.

My mother suffered from Parkinson’s so I’ve seen how damage to the brain can lead to physical difficulties. I’m 64 years of age and several years ago after retiring from full-time work, I enrolled in a Diploma in Arts at the University of Queensland. I study one subject each semester and I’ve completed a minor in Art History and now I’m completing a minor in Ancient History. Each subject costs $800 to study. One of the reasons I’m studying, is that when I retired, I found myself thinking about trivial matters and worrying about them unnecessarily. Study is a bit like meditation; you have to really focus on it to gain any benefits.

The lectures and tutorials are stimulating and I enjoy going out to university once a week and spending time in the environment at UQ. I complete all the required assessment tasks and this helps me understand the concepts in some depth. I don’t mind writing essays but studying for exams can be challenging. I’ve read that, as we age, some of us find numbers hard to remember, so I use visual strategies and mnemonics to remember dates, names and the sequence of historical events. This helps me to remember details so I can write essays in exams.

Once I’ve finished my Diploma I’ll be looking for another way to keep learning; maybe learn to play a musical instrument, take an art class or learn a new language. I’m determined to ‘use it or lose it’.

Barbara

Thanks Barbara for the blog and a couple of weekends ago I decided to go for a good long walk around my old (and I mean really old) stamping ground- The University of Qld or UQ –  and nothing has changed in the Great Court where this photo is taken. There are plenty of fabulous new buildings dotted all over the campus but the sandstone buildings enclosing the grassed areas is just the same as it was 44 years ago when I first walked there and stood (probably shaking in my boots) in the year of the ’74 floods to register for my physio degree.

Thank you Barbara for the inspiration and I look forward to registering for my next Uni degree/diploma.

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