Keeping Your Mind Active as You Age


As you get older, your brain goes through natural changes. These changes can affect the way you think, learn and remember. Support your brain's health by keeping it active. Here's how.

Stay involved

First, stay involved. Spend time with your loved ones. Take part in meaningful activities. Consider volunteering in your community, or for a cause that matters to you. Take or teach a class. Read books and magazines, and play games you enjoy. These help stimulate your brain and keep you happy.

Hobbies and skills

Next, learn new things. Take up a new hobby. Maybe you would enjoy sewing. Maybe you would enjoy photography or carpentry. Learning a new skill – especially one that requires some real thinking – is a great way to flex your brain and improve your memory.

Cognitive reserve

Why do these activities matter? Well, we think keeping your mind engaged may help your brain build what scientists call a "cognitive reserve." That's how your brain improvises and finds different ways to do things. Having a good cognitive reserve helps your brain work well even if part of it is disrupted.


And finally, if you're having memory problems that concern you or your loved ones, take it seriously. Go see your doctor. Find out what's wrong. Many brain problems are treatable, but you need to get help early. Your doctor can create a care plan that's right for you.