These Simple Activities Can Slow Your Brain’s Decline

It is estimated that over 6 million Americans may have Alzheimer's disease. The incidence of the disease is rising in line with the aging population. You can prepare in several ways, including ways to perhaps delay memory loss as you get older.

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These Simple Activities Can Slow Your Brain’s Decline
4 Min Read February 3rd, 2017 Updated:March 1st, 2022

More than 6 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer's in 2022. The incidence of the disease is rising in line with the aging population. Experts say about a half-million Americans younger than age 65 have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. 

Of the Americans with Alzheimer's, an estimated 6.2 million people are age 65 and older, and over 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer's). One in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It is one of the main reasons people require Long-Term Care, and the cost of that care is substantial and can wipe out assets and impact the family.

Chart reflects 2019 numbers.

Can You Do Anything About Dementia Ahead of Time?

So is there anything you can do to delay or prevent suffering from cognitive decline? Yes, you can plan ahead for the impact that dementia can have on your savings and your family. But besides that, can you avoid or delay memory loss? Now there's encouraging news for you.

A study completed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic's Scottsdale, Arizona, campus shows that such simple activities as playing a good game of chess or arts and crafts can hold off mental decline well into your 70s and beyond. You can read more about the study by clicking here.

The Harvard Health Letter suggests several other things you can do now. These include:


Harvard experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate excise several times a week.

Eat a Mediterranean Diet

The diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains; olive oil; nuts; legumes; fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, moderate amounts of red wine, and red meat only sparingly.

Get Enough Sleep

Seven to eight hours of sleep each night is recommended.

Are You Prepared for the Financial Costs and Burdens of Aging?

Caregiving is hard on family members. According to the Alzheimer's Association, over 15.3 billion hours of informal, unpaid care was provided by caregivers in 2021 alone for those who suffer from some type of dementia. This unpaid care is valued at almost $257 billion. Many unpaid caregivers must leave their jobs or reduce their hours, impacting their families and careers, not to mention their health due to the stress of being a caregiver. 

The unpaid care is only a part of the equation since that number doesn't account for the billions of paid care services either in a person's home or in a facility. 

Most paid professional care is not covered by health insurance or Medicare. Medicaid is often the payor of these services, but only if you have little or no income and assets. Only Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for these extended care services.

Planning for Long-Term Care is Essential 

Yes, one other thing you should do is make plans to safeguard your savings and income from the high cost of long-term care. People require long-term care services for many reasons, in addition to supervision required because of dementia. 

People require long-term care due to an illness, accident, or just the impact of longevity. Since we are living longer lives planning for long-term health care and its consequences is a critical part of your retirement planning. 

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides the resources for your choice of quality caregivers as it eases the burdens extended care can have on your family. 

Consequences Impact You, Family, and Finances

You work hard and save money for your future retirement. The time to protect that money and make sure you never become a burden on your loved ones is before you retire. Learn how easy and affordable a plan can be so you and your family and enjoy a successful retirement with peace of mind.

Tax-Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance provides regulated triggers and tax-free benefits. Some "hybrid" or life insurance policies with an accelerated death benefit don't meet this requirement. 

There are several tax incentives available as well, including the ability to you pre-tax money from your Health Savings Account to pay for the premiums. 

LTC Insurance is Dependable 

The economy changes, often without notice. Inflation, international events, domestic politics all adversely impact your savings when you least expect it. 

Depend on the guaranteed tax-free resources of Long-Term Care Insurance. You can control only a few things in life, but you can depend on an LTC policy to deliver you access to your choice of quality care and peace of mind to your family. 

Start Research Before You Retire

Start your research by finding the current and future cost of long-term care services in your area by using the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. You will find the current and future cost of long-term health care services in all settings based on where you live. Understand that these costs are increasing rapidly due to increasing demand and higher labor costs.

Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. Find an experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options.

Too many American families ignore this issue until a health event happens to either themselves or a loved one. Give yourself and your family peace of mind by adding an LTC policy before you retire.


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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Thinking about long-term health care should happen before you get older and before a loved one requires help with daily living activities. A family conversation about older family members' future need for long-term care will make it easier for everyone. Plus, it allows for their input - assuming they have not already purchased a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Even if they own a policy, understanding their preferences for care is essential.

LTC NEWS can help find caregivers, develop a plan of care, and even help process an insurance claim - just click here

The ideal time to plan for your future declining health and aging is when you are younger and healthier. Most people obtain Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s.

LTC Insurance gives you the tax-free benefits to pay for your choice of quality care, including in-home care. You can safeguard income and assets and reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on loved ones.

There are a variety of insurance options to consider. 

LTC NEWS Offers Many Tools and Resources

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.


Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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