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Are You A Rookie?

Connie Michaelis, Marketing Consultant for The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support

A good quote represents a simple inspiration that reminds you of a larger truth. I read this today, and it resonated with everything I believe. Chris Dionigi says, “At every stage of life, you should be a rookie at something.” Are you aware that scientific research being done today indicates that learning a new skill will increase your chances of a healthy brain? Although playing computerized brain games is popular today, new research shows you might be better off picking up a new hobby. Dr. Denise Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Dallas, assigned 200 older people to different activities like digital photography and quilting. The groups spent 15 hours a week for three months learning their new skills. Rather than comparing them to people who did nothing, they compared them to social groups who had fun watching movies and reminiscing about past vacations but weren’t mentally challenged as much. Park’s research, which was published in the Journal of Psychological Science, showed that not all activities are created equal. Only people who learned a new skill had significant gains in cognitive ability. Not only was there improvement, but a year later that increase was maintained!

Living in a community assures Seniors the ability to be stimulated by new activities. Staying in your home, even with outside support, does not necessarily provide opportunities to grow. I love to think of an 80-year-old being a rookie at playing bridge, knitting, or learning to use a computer! At The Piper, we spend time investigating what new things interest our household members. It is a perfect time in life to let go of the inhibitions of ‘failing’ at something new. Rather than thinking it is too late to become a player, consider that being a rookie is the best thing you can do for your brain health! Give us a call at 913.400.7006, and experience the difference.