Feeling locked in to working forever?
Well, according to a UK study published in the current issue of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, there is potential good news about having to remain in the workforce longer. Postponing your retirement may delay dementia. Experts from King’s College London analyzed data from more than 1,300 people with dementia. They found that for people who delayed retirement, each extra year of work was associated with approximately a six-week delay in the onset of dementia.
Simon Lovestone, one of the paper’s co-authors, suggested that “the intellectual stimulation that older people gain from the workplace may prevent a decline in mental abilities, thus keeping people above the threshold for dementia for longer.”
Cause and effect have not been definitively determined, and we don’t yet know how to prevent or adequately treat Alzheimer’s disease. But Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause, accounting for almost 60 percent, of the dementia that affects 1 in 20 over the age of 65. It’s heartening to think responding to the current economic climate by working longer may have an upside. It may be associated with delaying a disease that scares – and afflicts – so many. It’s a stretch, but we’ll take our optimism wherever we can get it…
Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved