Fighting Dementia

Dance for Seniors

There is a song by Lee Ann Womack with the refrain “I Hope You Dance.”

Although the lyrics are from the perspective of a mom singing to her daughter, it is good advice to a grandmother as well.

Recent studies have shown that for seniors, dancing isn’t just fun, but it’s therapeutic, too.

University of Missouri researchers found that participation in dance-based therapy can improve balance and gait in older adults and therefore reduce the risk of falls and injuries.

In 2001, a 21-year study of 469 adults 75 and older measured the effects that physical activities such as tennis, golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework had on the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimers.

The study, led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and funded by the National Institute on Aging, showed that almost none of the physical activities studied offered any protection against dementia except dancing.

In fact, frequent dancing offered a greater reduction in the risk of dementia than activities like reading and doing crossword puzzles.

Activities Associated with Decreased Risk of Vascular Dementia or Alzheimer’s

  • Dancing frequently 8 Crossword puzzles
  • Playing board games
  • Quilting
  • Checkers, Chess, Backgammon
  • Playing musical instruments

Finding Your Roots
One the biggest trends in travel for seniors is Genealogy Travel – taking trips to discover one’s family heritage or to visit an ancestral home.

Travel agencies have sprung up to help folks find their pasts in places such as England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany and Greece.

A quick survey of travel sites such as and finds you trips to Germany, Switzerland, Tuscany, the Rhine River and more.

Blog: The Traveling Genealogist (

$ocial $ecurity

You’ve probably received a social security benefits statement in the mail at some time in your life. The statements, which can be confusing, outline what benefits you have earned throughout your working life and what you may expect to receive when retiring at different ages.

How do you decide when to retire? Should you retire at 62 and receive smaller monthly payments each month or wait until the full retirement age at 70 and receive larger payments?

The answers to these questions are personal and depend heavily on your marital status, work history, health and personal retirement savings.

The U.S. Government has a comprehensive guide to help you make these Social Security decisions at

On the site, you can view your Social Security Statement, estimate your retirement benefits, use an online retirement planner and learn about options for yourself or your spouse.

Take full advantage of this free online resource before making plans about your retirement.