Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ten Important Truths About Aging

Understanding aging is important for ergonomic accommodation in the workplace ...

"As the legal profession debates various ethical issues pertaining to the “graying of the bar,” it’s important to consider the neuropsychological perspective. According to up-to-the-minute research, aging by itself does not mean decline. As we grow older, we improve in some areas, we get worse in others and, up to a point, we can control the course we take, as the following ten truths will explain.

Aging Means Lifelong Development, Not Automatic Decline

We prefer to talk more about change than about decline. As Sharon Begley wrote in “The Upside of Aging” (The Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2007),

But it's not all doom and gloom. An emerging body of research shows that a surprising array of mental functions hold up well into old age, while others actually get better. Vocabulary improves, as do other verbal abilities such as facility with synonyms and antonyms. Older brains are packed with more so-called expert knowledge—information relevant to your occupation or hobby. (Older bridge enthusiasts have at their mental beck-and-call many more bids and responses.) They also store more "cognitive templates," or mental outlines of generic problems and solutions that can be tapped when confronting new problems.

In his most recent book, The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older, Dr. Goldberg explains that as we undergo experiences, we actually change our brains by creating new neurons and synapses. This process never stops; our brains enjoy lifelong plasticity. Until recently, a popular misconception was that neurons die as we age and do not get replenished. Now, neurogenesis, or the ability of our brains to create new neurons until the very day we die, is a proven reality.

... Neuropsychology Indicates That We Can Control Our Aging

Aging Means Lifelong Development, Not Automatic Decline

Some Skills Improve With Age

Some Skills Need To Be Continuously Nurtured And Trained

Not All Instances Of Forgetting Are Of Equal Concern

We Are In Control, To A Large Extent

There Are Four “Pillars Of Brain Health”

Cross-Training Our Brains Builds Up Cognitive Reserve

Computer-Based Brain Exercise Programs Can Help

Embrace “Good” Stress; Eliminate “Bad” Stress

Retirement Is Overrated"    (Continued via The Complete Lawyer)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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Anonymous Ari said...

This is a really great post. I think that with the research that is now being done on the brain's ability to adapt even in later life that the future could look brighter for everyone. Taking preventative steps to improve cognition could only bring about benefits in peoples lives. I suggest that everyone take a look at the Brain Fitness Channel, It has a wide variety of information on brain health.

12:44 PM  

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