A Focus on Intellectual Stimulation

As we age physically, so does our brain mentally. Cognitive decline can be frustrating to older adults as they become more forgetful and less active than their younger selves. They begin to lose a sense of control, independence, and self‐worth in their lives. Because of this, Trinity Terrace places a high priority on intellectual stimulation. Studies show that mental deterioration is not an inevitable part of ageing, but change is. Therefore, making important lifestyle changes can be detrimental to brain health. It is even more imperative to make life adjustments when age‐related changes like dementia or an injury such as a stroke occurs.

By placing focus on intellectual stimulation, Trinity Terrace cultivates an enriching environment for older adults to stay active and engaged. This completes a lifestyle fit to achieve overall wellness and longevity.

“Lifetime intellectual enrichment can be a successful preventative intervention to delay the onset of dementia and possibly reduce mental impairments.” 

Trinity Terrace resident Bernard Engel is a prime example of how intellectual stimulation can extend not only the years in life but also improve the quality of it too. From an early age, Bernard lived a life full of intellectual stimulation and continues the momentum into his nineties while he joyfully lives his years of retirement at Trinity Terrace. Having a lifelong passion for literature, Bernard is an accomplished author and has already completed his 12th book of “The Stoner Series.” With no plans to slow down, he is already working on book number thirteen. Spending 2‐3 hours a day writing.

Bernard Engel sitting at a desk surrounded by intellectual books

Bernard says he balances his mental stimulation with physical activity and still works out every morning. Age is just a number and fulfilling desires is limitless with endless possibilities for Bernard.  Whether he is looking out of his floor‐to ceiling windows or stepping out on the private balcony of his home, gorgeous views of Downtown Fort Worth and Trinity Park, give the perfect tranquil environment for any creative works to be born.

Betsy Popper standing in a library next to a chair

Finding Creative Outlets

While some find creative outlets in the solitude of their homes, others can find it in the library at Trinity Terrace among like‐minded individuals who share a passion for learning and knowledge. “Trinity Terrace’s library is wonderful. Our community is a mecca of highly intellectual people,” states resident Betsy Pepper, a former Fort Worth Library Advocacy Board Member. Betsy, along with other community leaders, founded the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation. Through the foundation, she helped many underserved children access books and education by bringing in well‐respected children’s authors and supplying activities for children at the Fort Worth library. In addition, she developed a literacy program for non‐English speakers, aiding them in receiving their citizenship and accelerating their adaptation into their new surroundings. 

Mentally stimulating activities like reading and writing are important at any age but especially in our later years of life. A study in the American Academy of Neurology’s medical journal concluded, evidence of slower rates of cognitive decline in both early and later life for those who were involved in intellectually stimulating activities than those who did not engage in intellectually stimulating activities. This also stimulated the brain to improve thinking skills and safeguard memories by a 14% difference in decline. In the later years of life, many older adults suffer from depression as they lose their loved ones. For this reason, preserving resident’s most cherished memories makes intellectual stimulation such a vital part of the aging process at Trinity Terrace.

The Library at Trinity Terrace

The library at Trinity Terrace is only one of many ways to improve brain health and enhance all the brain’s functions. The National Institute on Aging describes four categories: cognitive health, motor function, emotional function and tactile function as characteristics of brain health, the level at which a person’s brain functions across various areas.

Cognitive health — how well you think, acquire knowledge, and retain information.

Motor function — how well you stay balanced and your ability to coordinate movements.

Emotional function — how well you understand, process, and respond to both positive and negative emotions.

Tactile function — how well you feel and react to sensations of touch — including pain, pressure, and temperature. Positive brain health in older adults can also be reached through several on‐campus seminars related to general health, brain fitness, stress management, and more, giving residents the perfect ecosystem for health optimization. 

Social Engagement

“We love it here at Trinity! There are so many things to do! You can make quilts for babies with the knitting group, volunteer, or shop at the White Elephant resale store, or work in the Tinker’s Den making wood projects. My husband and I also enjoy working out together at the fitness classes and watching shows with the entertainment they bring in. Last night we had a magic show and sometimes they have special health speakers come in to do educational engagements. Our days are always filled with activities; sometimes we miss some because there’s so many to choose from,” says Edith Martin. Even with the wide range of physical and social activities to stimulate brain activity, many activities at Trinity Terrace can still be adjusted to fit personal goals and abilities at the individual level, while still enhancing the quality of life. From a high tech indoor hydro pool equipped with equipment specifically designed for older adults, to a calendar full of convenient exercise and wellness classes to choose from, residents never fall short of intellectual stimulation.

“Aging adults need to be proactive to stay mentally fit. Physical and social activity is just as important as being mentally active. Physical fitness supports memory and cognition functionality by keeping a good blood flow to the brain, while socializing stimulates parts of the brain through interactions with others. This sparks challenges in the brain, which in turn improves our skills.”

If you’re ready to break free from the monotony in life and pursue your passions, schedule a personal tour today and see what intellectual stimuli will pique your interest at Trinity Terrace! Visit retirement.org/trinity/events‐tours or call 817‐338‐2400.

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