The facts of life

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IT is said that two hours a day spent keeping the mind and body busy, whether it be regular exercise or completing brainteasers like Sudoku, is the secret to warding off dementia so individuals can enjoy a healthy retirement.

The research, compiled by German academics, makes it sound so simple – and appealing. But, there again, they have not seen their pension age increase by two years this week to help the country balance its books.

And while those who enjoy a active and healthy retirements have their own reasons to explain their longevity, whether it be a small tipple or successfully completing a certain crossword puzzle, it should be remembered that dementia – like cancer – does not discriminate between those with active minds and those less inclined, or unable to spend two hours a day putting themselves first.

Both conditions are the biggest barriers to more people being able to enjoy retirement – and finding cures to these conditions is probably the greatest contribution that physicians can make to ongoing political attempts, here and elsewhere, to finance an ageing society.