Research shows that people who are regularly engaged in social interaction maintain their brain vitality. But again, the combination of physical and mental activity with social engagement — and a brain-healthy diet — is more effective than any of these factors alone.
One study reported that leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social activity are the most likely to prevent dementia. In the study of 800 men and women aged 75 and older, those who were more physically active, more mentally active or more socially engaged had a lower risk for developing dementia. And those who combined these activities did even better.
Other research found that sports, cultural activities, emotional support and close personal relationships together appear to have a protective effect against dementia.
So stay socially engaged in activities that stimulate the mind and body:
- Stay active in the workplace
- Volunteer in community groups and causes
- Join bridge clubs, square dancing clubs or other social groups
More information about the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
Additional Web resources
The Corporation for National and Community Service
(Coordinator of the Senior Corps, VISTA, AmeriCorps and other voluntary service programs)
United We Serve
(Volunteer opportunity search tool of the Corporation for National and Community Service)