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Could there be a surprising dark side to retirement? A recent study from Binghamton University in New York found that retirement may actually increase your risk of dementia. The researchers analyzed over 17,500 participants, and those that were retired performed 20% worse on memory tests compared to those who were still employed.
Dr. Travis shares that jobs provide social interaction, involve problem solving, and require you to use your brain, adding that your brain is a "use it or lose it" organ. "This finding has been shown again and again," shares clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho and she stresses that even being social has a great impact on your cognitive function and requires you to stay engaged.
While retirement can look very different for different people, Dr. Travis encourages people to take up volunteering, make regular social engagements and try new hobbies because then you might actually be building your cognitive strengths. He stresses you should make a plan for your retirement so you don't find yourself spending endless hours alone.
And Dr. Judy Ho optimistically shares, "We can change our brains positively any time."