Can delaying retirement keep you mentally sharp?

Staying on the job longer may help you age gracefully.

With the specter of Alzheimer’s Disease looming over the Baby Boomer generation, many men and women in Houston are constantly investigating new ways to retain their mental clarity as the years go on. We’ve discussed this issue extensively on this blog, featuring studies about the benefits of exercise, diet and even positive thinking on long-term memory retention. Now, a large-scale research project commissioned by the French government has indicated another lifestyle choice that could help reduce the risk of dementia: work.

The Associated Press reports that research involving approximately half a million French citizens with an average age of 74 and 12 years of retirement behind them has indicated that men and women who delayed their transition from work to leisure were less likely to exhibit signs of cognitive decline over time.

“For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 percent,” said lead researcher Carole Dufouil of INSERM, the health research agency funded by the French government.

As a comparison, the AP cited that individuals who retired at age 65 were about 15 percent less likely to develop dementia compared to those who left work five years earlier.

However, if you’ve been counting down the days to your retirement, it may not be necessary to push back that date for the sake of your aging longevity. Heather Snyder of the Alzheimer’s Association noted that the key benefits of work for cognitive health – namely mental and social activity – can be acquired outside of the office as well.

To learn more about how your lifestyle choices can help you age gracefully, contact Longevity Centres of America in Houston today.