Volunteering Late in Life May Protect Your Brain

According to an October 2023 posting on PR Newswire, research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in the Netherlands the preceding summer found that volunteering later in life is associated with better cognitive function. Volunteer activities, such as supporting educational, religious, health-related, or other individual-support or community-enhancing activities and organizations enables seniors to be more physically active and more socially engaged, both of which can provide cognitive stimulation. AAIC reported that researchers examined volunteering habits across an ethnically and racially diverse population of older adults and found volunteering was associated with better baseline scores on tests of executive function and verbal memory. Volunteering was also associated with less cognitive decline. The Alzheimer’s Association chief mission officer was quoted as saying: “We hope this new data encourages individuals of all ages and backgrounds to engage in local volunteering — not only to benefit their communities but also potentially their own cognitive brain health.” AgeWise Colorado offers information on volunteer opportunities by entering “volunteer” in the search field on our website. (Click on the magnifying-glass symbol to enter the search term.)

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