Mates for life
It turns out that your good mates may be the key to a slower decline in memory and cognitive functioning, according to recent research. A study by Northwestern Medicine in the US, published in PLOS
ONE, found that ‘superagers’ – people who are 80 years and older who have a cognitive ability at least as good as people in their 50s or 60s – reported having more satisfying, high-quality relationships compared with their cognitively average, same-age peers.
On the Japanese island of Okinawa, there’s living proof of the research, having an extraordinarily healthy and happy centenarian population. The aged population on the island have secure social networks referred to as ‘moai’. Basically, they are a group of people who provide support, both emotional and financial, in times of stress. Creating your own ‘safety net’ of friends is clearly up there with a balanced diet and exercise when it comes to long-term good health.