Assisted Living Services’ caregiver Precious Bobson ensures that client Elaine Kuhrt of Cheshire remains active both physically and mentally. Photo courtesy of Assisted Living Services Inc.

SuperAgers are people over the age of 80 who have the cognitive abilities of someone decades younger. So, what’s their secret? According to recent research, the one trait that SuperAgers possess is to learn something new every day. But based on 25 years of caring for Connecticut seniors, Mario D’Aquila of Assisted Living Services Inc. (ALS) explains it’s really a combination of brain exercises and healthy eating.

“Use it or lose it is just as true for mental fitness as it is for physical fitness,” said D’Aquila, MBA, chief operating officer of home care agency ALS with offices in Cheshire and Westport. “We often see significant improvement in our clients after engaging in new activities with caregivers who also help prepare meals.”

D’Aquila cites a CNBC article summarizing the 18-month study that compares our memories to a bank account. The deposits, which are pieces of new information, help build brain connections. Memories are kept in these connections. As we age, the connections can weaken or be lost altogether. However, the more deposits you have, the less impact there is on your memories from these withdrawals.

D’Aquila shares ways to cross train your brain:

  • Do something mentally stimulating, such as listening to a podcast, joining a book club or taking an online course.
  • Do something that requires learning through movement, such as a new sport, dance or yoga.
  • Be social. Grab coffee with a friend or go to a dinner party, as social interaction is a form of learning that has been associated with staving off dementia.

It’s crucial to approach learning the way you would fitness training, according to D’Aquila. “You wouldn’t go to the gym and only work out one body part. The same goes for the brain, he said.” An activity needs to be challenging in order to have impact. SuperAgers pursue learning opportunities outside of their comfort zone.

Since 1996, award-winning home care agency Assisted Living Services in Cheshire and Westport has provided care to residents across Connecticut. Its unique CarePlus program blends personal care by more than 600 employees and caregivers with technological safety and monitoring devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies Inc. ALS was ranked on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies and recognized by Home Care Pulse® as a “Best of Home Care Leader In Excellence,” a designation given to the best home care providers in the nation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here