According to health-based statistics, African Americans are more likely to develop dementia than other ethnicities as they age. The numbers show that over 21% of Black people who are 70 and over are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association reports that the disease can affect Black people 14 – 100% more than other ethnicities. Since it’s still not completely clear why that is, it’s essential to focus on what you can do to prevent the development or progression of dementia. One possibility is learning a second language.
Why A Second Language Fights Dementia
You may have heard the phrase ‘exercise your brain’ but researchers advise that it’s not always helpful to think of the brain as a muscle. It’s not that simple. You might not be able to give your brain a workout but it’s possible to train it to be better at certain tasks.
Since dementia involves the loss of mental acuity, it made sense to study different areas that can have an impact on preventing this deterioration.
When looking for answers, the experts studied how bilingual people experienced dementia. The results showed that those who spoke a second language often delayed the progression of the disease by 5 – 7 years.
It was also noted that being bilingual was linked to performing better at cognitive tests, in general. Researchers estimate that this happens because they’ve grown accustomed to juggling two different languages. This thought also explains why those who are bilingual or multilingual are much better at multitasking.
While the studies continue, researchers are encouraging people who have or are at risk of developing dementia to harness the cognitive benefits of being bilingual. It’s not a cure, but learning another language may be an effective way to postpone your cognitive decline as the research continues.
Tips For Learning A Second Language
It might be easy to think that learning another language can’t be possible as an adult. Research says otherwise though. You can definitely learn a new language if you use certain tricks to help.
One thing you need to identify is how you learn. Some learners are successful with language websites – especially the ones that make it fun.
While there are multiple online options that you can use, some people find it easier to