Hollenbeck Palms

‘Super-agers’ embrace the power of movement

Super Agers

A key to the golden years could lie in the unwavering commitment to keep moving forward. To keep moving embodies more than just physical actions – it reflects an attitude of determination and a refusal to remain stagnant.

There’s no shortage of that attitude among a distinguished group of people who possess the remarkable ability to access clear and vivid memories stretching back 50 to 60 years, who participated in a new scientific inquiry into the links between the body’s movements and the mind’s health.

A study by the Lancet Healthy Longevity journal discovered an intriguing correlation among these extraordinary individuals: They not only possess a wealth of recollections, but also demonstrate a surprising capacity for greater movement and speed.

Could it be that this intertwining of their exceptional memory with physical vitality is a revelation that highlights the connection between a balanced life and healthier minds?

Remarkably, their cognitive acumen is not confined to the realm of memories alone. “Super-agers” display a tangible zest for life, reflected in their agility and swiftness of movement. The link between vibrant movement and enhanced memory function among “super-agers” hints at a synergy between an active lifestyle and cognitive preservation, suggesting that engaging in physical activities may be a contributing factor to their remarkable mental prowess and greater overall health.

Finding similarities between factors affecting dementia risk and “super-aging” provides researchers with new opportunities to learn more about the aging brain and memory decline. This could be a small step to help us mitigate the impact of age-related memory decline and dementia risk.

The lower rates of anxiety and depression observed in these individuals in the study underline the intricate connection between mental well-being and longevity. A life well-lived, enriched with meaningful experiences and cherished memories, appears to pave the way for a healthier mind.


Research methodology

The research was conducted on a group of 64 “super-agers” and 55 ordinary older adults between 69 and 86 years old. The study aimed to understand the unique characteristics that set “super-agers” apart from their peers in terms of memory function and other health outcomes.

To assess memory function, participants underwent the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test, which allowed researchers to identify “super-agers” based on their memory performance compared to the average person 30 years younger. Participants also had MRI imaging done to gauge the volume of gray matter in crucial brain regions associated with memory and movement. Furthermore, they took part in clinical assessments to determine their anxiety and depression levels.

“Super-agers” showed not just excellent memory, but also were faster and more agile in their movements. They performed better in tests that measured how well they could move and use their hands, even though they reported exercising at similar levels as typical older adults.


The world of a ‘super-ager’

Even though “super-agers” do similar activities to typical older individuals, they also engage in more physically demanding tasks like gardening or climbing stairs.

Engaging in physical activity offers a myriad of direct and indirect advantages, including reduced blood pressure, decreased obesity and improved blood circulation to the brain. These benefits could potentially contribute to the enhancement of cognitive skills as individuals grow older.

It is also possible that “super-agers” naturally possess healthier brains, leading to enhanced motor abilities and cognitive functions. Better brain health could enable smoother communication between brain regions responsible for movement and memory, ultimately influencing both aspects positively.

This blend of physical activity, brain health movement and memory underscores the complex interplay of factors that contribute to the exceptional cognitive abilities of “super-agers.”


Our Memory Enhancement Center

By discerning the shared aspects between dementia risk and “super-aging,” we open doors to novel insights in the prevention and management of age-related memory decline.

At Hollenbeck Palms, we always continue to expand on our understanding so we can continue developing targeted interventions that could benefit not only “super-agers,” but also a broader population seeking to maintain their cognitive abilities as they age.

The Hensel Memory Enhancement Center provides professional, empathetic, stimulating and secure assistance to residents experiencing severe symptoms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive deterioration.

Constructed with a foundation of affectionate and engaging dementia care, the Memory Enhancement Center is a standalone two-story facility. It boasts private and communal suites, a large open dining area and kitchen, activity zones and a safe, enclosed garden. One noteworthy aspect of the center is its partnership with globally renowned dementia care expert, Laura Wayman, also referred to as the Dementia Whisperer. Laura has equipped our entire team with effective and compassionate communication and care techniques for our residents.

The Memory Enhancement Center emphasizes individualized engagement, focusing on cognitive, physical, spiritual and psychological well-being. In this safe, supportive and loving environment, residents receive the attention and care needed to enhance their everyday quality of life.

For more information about our Los Angeles senior living community and our Los Angeles dementia care facility, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can contact us via email at [email protected] or call us at (323) 307-4505. We eagerly anticipate your correspondence!