Israelis are living longer, and in 2017, 11.3% of the population were 65 years old or older. Women tend to live longer, and they represent over 50% of the senior population with 545,000 women and 434,000 men in this demographic.
A lot of seniors, when they decide to retire, will try and keep busy. The idea is that once a person starts to slow down, the person will start to forget things, become lazy, gain weight and die sooner. Whether or not this is true is a different story.
But as a senior that has worked their entire lives, it’s not uncommon for a person to try and keep their mind sharp.
Harvard has a lot of recommendations that can help a person keep their mind sharp at any age. One of the key methods is to keep learning. Studies show that higher education will result in better mental function at an older age. A person should be challenging their brain at all times, and this can be playing a text scrabble word finder, learning a new language or taking a class at a local college.
Researchers believe that this stimulation will help keep brain cells healthier and will also stimulate the communication between brain cells.
This is the same reason that working keeps a person’s memory intact. A person will continue to learn and have new experiences, creating stronger communication between brain cells. New hobbies don’t have to be boring either. Volunteer or join a book of the month club. You can also learn any new skill whether it be basket weaving or woodwork – it doesn’t matter.
Memory retention requires you to use all of your senses, and this means everything from sight to sound and even smell. This is why painting can be so good for a person, or learning to play a musical instrument.
Reminders are great, but they’re also causing people to forget a lot. We don’t have to use our brains like we did in the past. Today, we rely on smartphones and devices to remind us to pick up milk from the store. There are parents that cannot remember to pick up their own children from school without a text or notification on their phone.
This lack of “using” your memory results in your brain diminishing over time.
It’s important to rely on your brain and start repeating what you know. Perhaps you’re an artist, and while you may never lose your skill, you need to continue working on art to retain your same high skill level.
This is the same with anything, including speaking or writing in another language.
Repetition is important, and it’s essential that you space out your learning. Studies have shown that spaced repetition leads to higher levels of retention in both the short- and long-term.
Space out your learning, returning to material every few days, and you’ll find that your memory and performance will improve as a result. When trying to master complicated subjects, such as learning a new language, spaced repetition can help drastically.
Israelis are following these recommendations to keep their minds sharp well after retirement.