To the question “Does working past the traditional retirement age keep you mentally sharp?”, the answer was a qualified “yes” among several scholars attending the recent 2017 Age Boom Academy at Columbia University in early June. (I’ll get to the caveats later.)
Intriguing evidence that work helps boost cognitive health among older adults is another critical reason for policymakers and managers to tear down cultural and organizational barriers to longer work lives.
Working Longer and Dementia
Work may even help stave off dementia. A large study of nearly half a million self-employed workers in France suggests that delaying retirement means people may be at less risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
What is it about work that keeps the brain nimble?
Work often gives people a sense of purpose in life, a boon to well-being and mental health. The workplace is a social environment, a community with colleagues and coworkers. You must communicate with people to do your job, while still finding time for gossip, the lifeblood of any organization. You have tasks to accomplish and, much of the time, even routine jobs require learning new software programs, shifts in schedules and meeting new hires.
What Work Makes You Do
“The work environment places demands on people,” said Michael Hurd, director of the RAND Center for the Study of Aging, to journalists and scholars at Age Boom Academy. “You have to socially interact. You’re forced to be there. People are forced to engage.”
Excerpt from Forbes, read the full article here