The only catch is that the descriptions are in a completely invented language called Syntaflake. In these so-called flanker tasks, patterns of arrows appeared on the screen and I had to press the left or right button according to the direction of the arrow in the centre. Our community is nestled in the established family neighborhoods of Calgary, Alberta, and in close proximity to shopping and a variety of community services that contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle. That’s what the snowflake experiment was designed to find out. They will discuss the development and benefits of Dementia Friendly congregations. My very first blog post on “Death and Dementia” – a site originally dedicated to creepy, unexplained murders and deaths (before originally branching out to a far less grim subject matter, mostly general horror stuff) dealt with the death of Elisa Lam. Then everyone started building back. By Katsuko Keating, 94, former resident of Juniper Village who emigrated from Japan; she makes her own clothes and enjoys doing tai chi. For example, “When my wishes conflict with my family…” was completed in Japanese as “it is a time of great unhappiness”; in English, as “I do what I want”. Peachtree Village - Life is Peachy! Moreover, researchers are finding a swathe of health benefits from speaking more than one language, including faster stroke recovery and delayed onset of dementia. receive communications related to AARP volunteering. Free chapter from AARP’s book by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It is the executive system that tells us to go when we see a green light and stop for a red, and it is the same system that tells us to ignore the meaning of the word we read but concentrate on the colour of the letters. Celebration Village Forsyth offers older adults the opportunity to enjoy a life well lived – and then some. “They may not seem to want to — or be able to — talk but can paint something that takes our breath away,” says Ruth Drew, director of family and information services for the Alzheimer’s Association. When you choose to move to our village, we consider you a member of our family. Our team care for you with genuine respect, value and dignity. Comments: 0, Artwork: Chiyoko Lee; Photography: Elinor Carucci. “The bilinguals showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s some four to five years after monolinguals with the same disease pathology,” she says. In recent years, there has been a backlash against the studies showing benefits from bilingualism. But when the B-29 American bombers came, the bombs burned our house down. Each person gets a choice of subject. We provide the full range of low to high care, including dementia and end of life care. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers people to choose how they live as they age. Psycholinguist Ellen Bialystok made the surprising discovery at York University in Toronto while she was comparing an ageing population of monolinguals and bilinguals. memory care, personal care across retirement communities located in NJ, PA, and CO. It’s all to do with how our ever-flexible minds learn to multitask. In the meantime, it makes sense to talk, hablar, parler, sprechen, beszel, berbicara in as many languages as you can. The connection with culture and geography is why Athanasopoulos invented a new language for the snowflake test. As the recent research shows, that’s a worthwhile investment of time. Even those who have displayed no artistic ability in the past may find an outlet, with help from trained facilitators. Sign up for AARP's monthly Lifestyle newsletter for entertainment news, healthy living tips and more. Being so bound up with identity, language is also deeply political. to search for ways to make a difference in your community at ", Artist: Rose Mary Griffiths; Photography: Elinor Carucci, By Rose Mary Griffiths, 86, resident of Juniper Village, "I got a cupcake once at a restaurant in Fraser, Colo., with my sister MaryAnn, I think. The village has easy access to local bus stops is also within walking distance of a small shopping area which has a medical centre & restaurants. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. “I went to Germany before I came here, so I also speak German,” he adds. AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Searching for a word in one language - while suppressing the corresponding word in another - gently taxes the brain, helping to train our concentration (Credit: Getty Images). “We use a half-day model, so the target language is used to teach in the morning, and then English is used in the afternoon – then this is swapped on other days as some learn better in the morning and some in the afternoon,” explains Gregg Roberts, who works with the Utah Office of State Education and has championed immersion language teaching in the state. There were warnings that bilingual children would be confused by two languages, have lower intelligence, low self-esteem, behave in deviant ways, develop a split personality and even become schizophrenic. I join Athanasopoulos for a chat while my performance is being analysed by his team. You will be asked to register or log in. “It’s addictive!”, “People say it’s too hard as an adult. Juniper Village at Brookline Senior Living offers senior living/personal care and memory care on the same campus with an independent living community and a rehabilitation and skilled care facility. It’s not about the past or performance. If so, asks Gaia Vince, are those of us who speak only one language missing out? The Benefits of Coloring for Seniors Research into the effects of coloring activities for people living with dementia show positive outcomes, most notably a decrease in agitation and anxiety. Reduces risks for mental diseases: One of the primary benefits of playing board games is reducing the risk of cognitive declines, such as that associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is in spite of a 1962 experiment, ignored for decades, which showed that bilingual children did better than monolinguals in both verbal and non-verbal intelligence tests. I was the youngest of four children. For example, bilinguals rarely get confused between languages, but they may introduce the odd word or sentence of the other language if the person they are talking to also knows it. “We have found that the kids do as well and generally better than monolingual counterparts in all subjects. We need to get over our affliction with monolingualism.”. Sometimes the surrounding pattern of arrows was confusing, so by the end of the first session my shoulders had been hunched somewhere near my ears and I was exhausted from concentrating. Hawthorne Village of Brandon is composed of three separate facilities, each specializing in certain aspects of retirement living. We are dedicated to providing unsurpassed Alzheimer’s and dementia care to our residents and their families. It’s not about what you can’t do but what you can do.”. On Aug. 15, 1945, when they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, Japan finally gave up — after being so gung ho. When they speak it is often in Chinese – and there is something rather surreal about watching young people in the UK discussing British graffiti artist Banksy in Mandarin. So to be monolingual, as many native English speakers are, is to be in the minority, and perhaps to be missing out. In Johannesburg, where they are from, most people speak at least five languages, says one of them, Theo Morris. When the number recitation was switched to the other language midway, their video responses also switched. WW will help you build a customized weight loss plan. Dementia may be one of the scariest — a debilitating condition that erases memories; a condition without a cure. So, if they recited numbers in German, their responses to the videos were more typically German and goal-focused. German speakers, on the other hand, have a more holistic worldview and will include the goal of the action: they might say (in German) “a woman walks towards her car” or “a man cycles towards the supermarket”. The children are engaged but quiet, concentrating on the task of learning multiple ideas. “Bilingual people have significantly more grey matter than monolinguals in their anterior cingulate cortex, and that is because they are using it so much more often,” he says. The result of my test in Athanasopoulos’s lab suggests that just 45 minutes of trying to understand another language can improve cognitive function. In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails "A long time ago I go to two-year college and the teacher taught me how to make flowers. Exercise protects our memories from being erased and our latest research shows that it is never too late to … So, dementia care experts often recommend a technique called therapeutic fibbing. “Just like we know now that music is able to revive some memories that we thought were lost,” he says, “one can easily extrapolate these findings to art and to the visual system.”, Artwork: Chiyoko Lee; Photographer Elinor Carucci. If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”. But dementia does not have to be your fate. The benefits of massage run deep as it not only allows you to relax through the power of touch, but it allows your body to reset, allows your mind to rest, and with the incorporation of various techniques, initiates peace and balance on many levels. “If you look at modern hunter-gatherers, they are almost all multilingual,” says Thomas Bak, a cognitive neurologist who studies the science of languages at the University of Edinburgh. “The more you use it, the better,” she says, “but there’s no breaking point, it’s a continuum.”. Brookline senior living’s campus is located in State College, PA, near the towns of University Park, Boalsburg, Pleasant Gap, Bellefonte, and Centre Hall. “We have evidence now from functional imaging that it’s actually happening.”. These functions include memory, language skills, visual perception, problem solving, self-management, and the ability to focus and pay attention. And those who have been artistic can find comfort in returning to a skill. The problem is, they disappear again unless they are used – and I am unlikely to use the made-up snowflake language ever again! A superior ability to concentrate, solve problems and focus, better mental flexibility and multitasking skills are, of course, valuable in everyday life. Many experts believe that art can help dementia patients express themselves. As adults, we try desperately to decipher a foreign tongue - but we may learn quicker if we stop looking for patterns that aren't there (Credit: Getty Images). But I don’t speak their language. So I went to dressmaking school.". Bak wrote a rejoinder to the published criticisms, and says there is now overwhelming evidence from psychological experiments backed by imaging studies that bilingual and monolingual brains function differently. The majority of the art class will take their Chinese GCSE exams several years early but Strowger tells me the programme has had many benefits in addition to their grades, including improving students’ engagement and enjoyment, increasing their awareness of other cultures so that they are equipped as global citizens, widening their horizons, and improving their job prospects. Bilingualism can also offer protection after brain injury. The Village at Mill Landing offers a wide range of senior care services, including memory care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia. When dementia is localized to the left side of the brain, Miller says, patients experience progressive loss of language, “but tremendous visual creativity can emerge — sometimes painting or sculpture, or occasionally they become obsessed with their gardens. Here I have no such clues and, it being a made-up language, I can’t even rely on picking up similarities to languages I already know. Personalized music programs could ease some Alzheimer symptoms, Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age Book. It means that as parts of the brain succumb to damage, bilinguals can compensate more because they have extra grey matter and alternative neural pathways. Ask me in English what my favourite food is, and I will picture myself in London choosing from the options I enjoy there. When they’re finished, I talk to them again, and the farm might have morphed into a seaside.”, Kate de Medeiros, associate professor of gerontology at Miami (Ohio) University, calls these “meaningful moments … flashes of joy and purpose, however fleeting or small.” Art, she says, can “bring people together, make bridges. People are increasingly expected to speak, read and write at least one of a handful of “super” languages, such as English, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish or Arabic, as well. They are discussing a woman, that much is clear, but the details are lost on me. Immersing yourself in a new language and culture may open your mind to new ways of thinking (Credit: Getty Images). Part of his research lies in trying to tease out the language from the culture it is threaded within, he explains. Many countries have more than one official national language – South Africa has 11. Greenhouse and village gardens. For bilinguals, with their exceptionally buff executive control, the flanker test is just a conscious version of what their brains do subconsciously all day long – it’s no wonder they are good at it. I was dumbfounded after the mushroom-cloud bomb. Members save 15% on medical alert service. Glumly, I recount my difficulties at learning the language, despite my best efforts. There were sketches all over our house. It is a view that persisted until very recently, discouraging many immigrant parents from using their own mother tongue to speak to their children, for instance. However, it is no good simply to have learned a little French at school. The program helps people express their thoughts and emotions and share memories through painting, drawing and other creative projects. | Through involvement in wellness activities you’ll experience many benefits such as maintaining your strength and mobility. After they finish their paintings, Frey asks them details. The emergence of European nation states and the growth of imperialism during the 19th century meant it was regarded as disloyal to speak anything other than the one national language. Then, in order to communicate with other groups – for trade, travel and so on – it would have been necessary for some members of a family or band to speak other tongues. It’s part of an experiment by Panos Athanasopoulos, an ebullient Greek with a passion for languages. www.aarp.org/volunteer. Being bilingual could keep our minds working longer and better into old age, which could have a massive impact on how we school our children and treat older people. Then, pass through Loewen, where the announcements will be in Dutch first, and then in Brussels it reverts back to French first.”. Greater empathy is thought to be because bilinguals are better at blocking out their own feelings and beliefs in order to concentrate on the other person’s. Located on the frontal lobe, it is a toolbox of mental attention skills that enables us to concentrate on one task while blocking out competing information, and allows us to switch focus between different tasks without becoming confused. The experience reminds me of a time I arrived in a rural town a few hours outside Beijing and was forced to make myself understood in a language I could neither speak nor read, among people for whom English was similarly alien. Relieved as I am to fit into the normal range, it’s a curious result. But in English-speaking nations, it is rare. It’s not a task in which practice improves performance (most people actually do worse second time round), but when I did the same test again after completing the snowflake task, I was significantly better at it, just as Athanasopoulos has predicted. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are global health concerns, made more significant by the statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimating the number of people with dementia to be 35.6 million. In order to maintain the benefits of bilingualism, you need to use your languages and that can be tricky, especially for older people who may not have many opportunities to practise. It is economically and socially beneficial. The village piazza at ground level is a vibrant and generous community space where you can safely enjoy the range of lifestyle activities on offer each day. Anytime you understand another language, you understand your language and culture better. “It’s impossible in the time given to decipher the rules of the language and make sense of what’s being said to you. Veteran’s Aid & Assistance Benefits. Bialystok agrees, adding that it is impossible to examine whether bilingualism improves a child’s school exam results because there are so many confounding factors. In the 1960s, one of the pioneers of psycholinguistics, Susan Ervin-Tripp, tested Japanese–English bilingual women, asking them to finish sentences in each language. Resize Text A A A A SEE WHAT ST. MARK VILLAGE HAS TO OFFER WITH A VIRTUAL TOUR For four decades, we have provided exceptional living options for adults 62 and older. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital, Travel and Autos, delivered to your inbox every Friday. In fact, says cognitive neuropsychologist Jubin Abutalebi, at the University of San Raffaele in Milan, it is possible to distinguish bilingual people from monolinguals simply by looking at scans of their brains. Our community features gracious accommodations, numerous amenities, and expansive grounds with views of the Spicket River – all at reasonable monthly rates. She found that the women ended the sentences very differently depending on which language was used. Community Senior Life memory care neighborhoods are designed to help our residents foster meaningful relationships, and remain as independent as possible with the safety of 24/7 care support. The fledgling artist, who has dementia, is taking part in Memories in the Making, a national art program of the Alzheimer’s Association, sponsored by chapters across the country. It’s a shame, because their conversation looks fun and interesting, especially to a nosy person like me. 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