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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.

Activity

  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    If you love the crunch of croutons on your salad, try walnuts instead. Omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts have been found to improve mood and calm inflammation that may lead to brain-cell death. They also replace lost melatonin, which is necessary for healthy brain functioning. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Replace candy with a sweet pick-me-up of pears, apples, oranges and cantaloupe. The combination prevents elevated blood sugar that could impede brain cells from firing correctly. It also provides fiber and antioxidants that help scrub plaque from brain arteries and mop up free radicals that inhibit...Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    You should take an afternoon catnap. Most of the concentration and memory benefits we get from sleep happen in the first stage, so even a snooze as short at 30 minutes can benefit your brain. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Pick up a good book to cut down on brain-withering boredom. Frequent reading is associated with reduced risk of dementia. And meeting new people forces new neural connections. Besides, you might enjoy the book and learn something new. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Frequently tickling the ivories or blowing a horn, especially if you're trying to master it, is associated with lower dementia risks. What's more, it eliminates boredom, a brain state that can cause some thinking skills to atrophy. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Reading the news helps you keep up with the latest, which not only activates the memory part of the brain but also gives you something to talk about with friends and family. That kind of socializing can activate multiple parts of your brain and encourage cell growth. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Turn up the tunes. TV may provide a lot of stimuli, but watching too much can dull brain transmission. Instead, spend an afternoon listening to your favorite music. Music can lower stress hormones that inhibit memory and increase feelings of well-being that improve focus. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Up to two glasses of red wine per day for women and up to three for men weekly delivers the powerful antioxidant resveratrol, which may prevent free radicals from damaging brain cells. But beware: Drinking more than that could drop levels of thiamine, a brain-boosting nutrient. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Research shows that taking courses  even just auditing them  can stave off dementia at an early age. If you don't want to go in for formal learning, then check out book readings, seminars and other educational events. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Sit quietly, choose a word that calms you and when your mind starts to wander, say the word silently. A form of meditation, this type of activity can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which zaps memory. Meditation also helps mitigate focus-stealing feelings, such as depression and anxiety. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Listen for details when a friend tells a story. Heed changes in the person's tone and register small facts you might otherwise gloss over. Conjure a mental image of the story. By doing this, you activate multiple areas in the brain and encourage memory formation. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Get support for stressors. You may love your ailing family member, but the chronic stress of facing the situation alone can shrink your brain's memory center. Interacting with others activates many parts of the brain — and learning new ways of coping forms new neural connections.  Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    If you are getting good at Sudoku, it is time to move on. Brain teasers don't form new neural connections once you've mastered them. So try something that's the opposite of your natural skills: If you like numbers, learn to draw. If you love language, try logic puzzles.  Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    New video games, such as the Wii and Nintendo DS, offer brain teasers that make you learn the computer's interface as you master the brain games. That's a double boost to the formation of new neural connections and to response time and memory. Read More
  • AARP
    AARP answered:
    Yes. Volunteer to answer questions at the library, arboretum, museum or hospital. Playing tour guide forces you to learn new facts and think on your feet, helping to form new neural pathways in your brain. What's more, interacting with others can ease stress that depletes memory. Read More