The following article is written by Roberta Baker and appeared in the Silver Linings section of the New Hampshire Union Leader on Nov 3, 2018.
Click here to read this article on the Union Leader website.
MANCHESTER — At age 92, Ellie Freedman is legally blind and uses a rolling walker to navigate the halls of her retirement community. But she has a keen ear for breaking news and Red Sox winnings, and stays sharp by leading a study group on America’s founding fathers for 25 other residents at Birch Hill.
She’s also an executive editor for the Banner, the continuing care retirement community’s 12-page newspaper, which involves assigning stories, juggling layout and editing submissions and photos — which she does with the aid of a magnifying machine. Last month she gave a presentation at the Currier Museum of Art on the architect who designed her Bedford home.
When it comes to preserving memory and cognition, she doesn’t waste words. “You use it or lose it. It’s the same as any other muscle. For many of us, it’s 70 years since we studied anything. I need this to keep my mind going.”
Freedman’s prescription for aging well, and avoiding the minefield of memory and cognitive decline, comes close to experts’ guidelines for preserving mental agility and forestalling dementia. Social interaction, intellectual stimulation, and challenges that don’t simply repeat a comfortable routine are keys to preserving brain function in later years, according to memory research. Read more