What do you love to do now? And what will you love to do if you lose your memory by various degrees?
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have identified 4 types of social activities that older adults participate in: Altruism, Creativity, Game, and Motion. The activities fulfill different purposes, broadly grouped into “enjoyment,” “relaxation,” “stimulation,” and “belongingness.” Interestingly, the types of activities chosen by seniors varied with their levels of memory. More people with high memory chose Motion activities than people with low memory. More people with low memory chose Creativity-related activities. Granted, the study had a small sample (20 participants) and the differences were not striking.
However, not surprisingly, people in the low memory group were more likely to give up activities they enjoyed when they encountered barriers to doing the activity, and experienced more social isolation. Those in the high memory group encountered barriers too, but were less likely to let it stop them from doing what they enjoyed.