Part 2: Demystifying Dementia with Shannon Chin

me&my health up podcast episode #60 – Transcript

Anthony Hartcher 0:00
Welcome to another insightful episode of me&my health up. I’m your host Anthony Hartcher. A healthy man according to his children, aka clinical nutritionist and lifestyle medicines specialist. Today we’re doing part two of demystifying dementia with Shannon Chin. In the first episode, we talked about what is dementia, we looked at it from a holistic point of view and we started to touch on prevention strategies to help you stop becoming a statistic.

So essentially, we want to help you out there so that you can prevent yourself becoming a statistic and, or prolong the onset of dementia. So here, we’re going to have a deep dive into the practical strategies that you can apply on a daily basis to really help your mind to remain active. So Shannon Chin is the CEO of fit minds Australia, and she is also the author of demystifying dementia. So here we have Shannon Chin, how are you today?

Shannon Chin 1:07
I am excellent. Thank you again, for having me on this podcast program Anthony.

Anthony Hartcher 1:12
You’re welcome. It’s so good to have you on for a second time. For those that haven’t listened to Episode 59, I suggest you do because that was the one where we introduced dementia. So Shannon, please, you know, give us a quick overview of episode 59.

Shannon Chin 1:31
So that’s actually my very lucky number. I love 59. In fact, that’s those are my the number of the house that I grew up with. So great number. So yes, in Episode 59, we spoke about what is dementia, and there was a little bit of an emotional part of it and I am grateful that I get to share my personal experience, and also about my grandmother, as well as the people I supported while I was working as a diversion therapist in an aged care facility and also I absolutely enjoy talking about the holistic approach to brain health.

And I remember touching on the eight clue eight pillars, or I call it the eight elements, eight things you need to know about brain health and the key thing is, I would like people to know and listeners to know that, and also, yes, we talked about the myth things that yes, that that myth people think that it is an old person’s disease and so and whatnot and also, the key message I want people to know is that whether we have the gene or not, or whether you have, you know, someone you know, or your loved one have been diagnosed with dementia, there are still ways that we can help them.

We can still help them to live well and also for people who are still fit and healthy like us, there are things that we can do now, to keep our brain healthy and to, I don’t quite like to use prevention, more of reducing our risk of developing dementia or some kind of cognitive impairment in the future, we just never know.

Anthony Hartcher 3:31
Absolutely, just on those eight steps of you know, that helps in reducing the risk. Please share those, those eight steps, the recap.

Shannon Chin 3:44
So my kind of my eight pieces of pie. In a sense, that’s how I wrote it in my book. That will be the first one is my favorite, of course, is cognitive stimulation, or in other words is mental stimulation, the second one is physical fitness, which is equally important, the third one is diet and nutrition. Then we talked about medical health, I will go a little bit deeper in each area after this and we also talk about social interaction and connection, spirituality and relaxation, sleep and last but still very important is passion and purpose. There you go, the eight pillars or the eight pieces of pie.

Anthony Hartcher 4:41
Beautiful, they’re very important and each you know, each element helps one helps the other elements. So it’s very important that they’re applied in that whole sense in terms of getting that real synergistic outcome in terms of reducing the risk of dementia. So there’s that active mind element that we really wanted to focus in on today and in particular, I’ve had some feedback to say, Ah, that was a really useful tip from Shannon in terms of keeping my mind active and I’m going to actually use Google Maps less, because I want to stimulate my mind and so we’re going to get more into these mind stimulation activities. So, Shannon, please share some of these activities that people can do.

Shannon Chin 5:29
Sure, sure. So first of all, is for cognitive stimulation, or in other words, mental stimulation to be effective. The type of activities that we do, or the type of exercises that we do on a regular basis and when I say regular, it will be a minimum of twice a week, if possible. It got it’s got to be new, different and challenging. So because when it’s new, and it’s different, and it’s German, it’s challenging. It really seen this the brain the brain will go really excited, wow, this is something new, I haven’t tried this before.

It’s kind of like activating out the adventurous part of the brains, if we can associate the brain to have a bit of a personality or character and also, it is important to also engage in new and also complex when I say challenging is also it also means complex activities and if possible, if we can do it, at least on a daily basis, that’s great. If not, like I mentioned earlier, at least twice a week is pretty good to keep the brain healthy, as well as stimulating perhaps the growth of new brain cells. I’ve got clients go ahead.

Anthony Hartcher 6:49
There you go, please share

Shannon Chin 6:51
I’ve got a client. She was telling me she said, how Shannon, it really is true, it happens. I say, Oh, what is it? And she goes, I feel that I’ve grown a few new brain cells each week. Wow, fantastic, how do you know? She says I just know, because you said, and this is a client, it is okay for me to share a real live example was, she has had a really terrible car accident, years, like six, seven years ago, she was hit from the back.

I don’t know if I mentioned that in the last episode but if I do, I’m going to repeat that, because it is a very relatable example and real life example and she was thrown into the air landed on her back and hit her brain and a lot of functions, the brain functions are gone and she would put on the top and she wouldn’t remember that she needs to put on trousers, she would turn on the stove and can’t remember that she needs to watch it and cook, and then when it’s done and turn it off and there’s all these things and her memory is the part that has been greatly impacted.

So as she started doing a lot more of different types of brain stimulation, or mental stimulation, she sees that her memories are working now and she doesn’t a lot of times she was in the past, she was the she was the only person that’s reminding the whole family about things that’s happening, where do you have to go and her daughter in law, her sons and grandchildren and all that, and she wasn’t doing that anymore after the accident and then one day, like that was a while back and she was telling me Shannon you know, it’s working.

It’s just prompting things are coming back and you say I remember things I’m able to even short term memory, it’s all is slowly working. Of course, it takes a years to practice that and it’s in a way the reason why I want to share this is it’s it’s proven that with a lot consistently with a lot of mental stimulation exercises and with consistency, we can still grow back new brain cells.

Anthony Hartcher 9:08
It’s incredible. It’s amazing what the human body can do and yeah, we really need to support it and and bring out the best in terms of our human potential by obviously, you know, doing the things of the the eight pieces that the pie on a regular basis and as you said that consistency is important and it’s always important whenever you’re talking about health or, or any successful outcome that you’re chasing consistency is key.

So, just in relation to those, if you could just share some really good examples of those mental stimulation, those activities that really challenges I again, it’s gonna be different for everyone, but maybe some examples for the younger generation so in that 20 to 30 of the things you know 20 to 30 year olds, the things that they could be doing and then maybe middle aged, you know, 40s, 50s and then more elderly, you know, 60, 70s, 80s. Yeah, maybe just share some good activities that they could be doing on that, you know, on a fairly regular basis to really promote this neurogenesis and, you know, get these connections wired.

Shannon Chin 10:22
Sure, sure, and when we talk about mental stimulation, we always look at the reason why we want to do different types of activities or exercises, it’s because we want the six different cognition areas to be stimulated. So what are they, the first one would be what we call visual spatial orientation and that’s a very important function.

It’s like the built in navigation tool in our brain if we were related in a more lively manner and it’s like being able to tell the map and all that where to go and all that, that’s very important and when we consistently exercise that part of the brain, that which means we are going to continue to function really well like an MBO like Google map or whatever that we’re using.

And the second one is memory, the memory function and for, for younger person, like these days, for even younger people, I noticed that we don’t use our memory as much as we used to, suppose to the older generation when they were at a younger age. I’m going to share example afterwards. So and the third one is we want to be exercising our critical thinking function of the brain.

So the critical thinking function, helps us with the executive decisions, helps us with planning, helps us with a lot of things that are the executive in this in this head and then the fourth function is computation. Now, when we’re young, when we’re still at school days, or you know, college, we still use quite a fair bit of that function and remember, in our professional years, we will still use that function quite a fair bit.

With the help of the smart device in calculator, unfortunately, and as the people, as we grow older, at say, 70, 80, maybe 90, we will use less of that function and there will be things that we need to do to stimulate that particular the accountant in our brain to do so to speak.

The fifth function is language. Now, we might think, Oh, we talk every day. Now sometimes, as we as the person gets older, we will notice that they start to spend a bit more time searching for the correct word, because they might be starting to lose some of the vocabulary and when the more we stimulate that function, the more we are going to be able to continue to be communicating with people and which feeds into the social interaction, the connection part of the pillar.

Then the last bit, the function of the function of the brain is concentration, a lot of time we may or may not notice, when we don’t concentrate, we can’t quite remember things, we can’t quite solve problem, we can’t quite figure out which way to go so that concentration is like an overall thing. It’s interrelated. So these are the six cognition areas that we’re looking to stimulate by doing the different types of exercises.

Now, if I were to go into the examples of those types of activities, visual spatial simulation, which is the orientation also the inbuilt GPS, inbuilt navigation tool for the brain, what we want to be doing is like the feedback you’ve received, Anthony, as about, the person says, is going to start using relying too much on Google Map. That’s a great point. So we want to be doing more of a navigation task, like reading a map and I always suggest to people before we go to a new place, the night before, do some homework, check out the map.

What I personally do is I’ll bring up the map on that I’ll still do a search put in the address and the map will pop up in front of me and I’ll be figuring out oh, this road and that road and I try to remember that and which direction or have to go. So that way I am actually training my brain to be recognizing that map, navigating it and also All at the same time training my memory because I have to remember roughly, I may not have a photogenic memory, but however it will help.

Then on the day that I’m on the road, then perhaps the GPS Google map would be a backup and I was just helping us to confirm that. Oh, okay yeah, I’m on the right path, or no, no, I got it wrong, I’ve got to correct it. Recalculating, they said what the GPS normally say. So that’s one example, try and read the actual map. It’s so much more better for the brain. Now, the other thing is, as a adult, we’d be stopped doing that a lot more as compared to when we were a child, that is the matching and sorting games, and also patterns and sequencing games because there was a lot of that’s kiddy stuff that’s not for adult anymore, it’s so childish.

Now, I believe there are still things that we can do like matching the pattern, because when we do the matching patterns, or even matching and sorting things out, it is training the brain to recognize its visual spatial and when we do that, every now and then it actually helps to continue to stretch that muscles in that brain. Now, the other thing is my all time favorite. You will hear me repeating that is the Sudoku game. Do you play Sudoku Anthony?

Anthony Hartcher 16:34
No, I’ve never played it. I’ve watched others play it, you know, do the game on the train or you know, people get really into it.

Shannon Chin 16:43

Anthony Hartcher 16:43
But for myself, I’ve never done it. So yes, but I do know of it.

Shannon Chin 16:49

Anthony Hartcher 16:49
And it was very popular, it was a craze fad period.

Shannon Chin 16:54
Indeed, it was very popular, and then now it’s a little bit quieter and I would still say that if you haven’t tried, even to the listeners, try that out because I never thought I would be sort of addicted to Sudoku. But once I got a, I got the hang of it and it’s so addictive. Now, that’s not the reason why I’m recommending us to do this.

The reason why I’m recommending is if there’s only one or two things that we can do, or we have the time to do, Sudoku is a great one to do because it helps us with visual spatial stimulation, because when we look at especially the nine by nine, a big one, we’ve got to work things out like which is reaching all that and also it it gives us memory stimulation, concentration stimulation, critical thinking, because we got to look at what’s the best way, what’s the quickest way to solve this.

A bit a lot of people thought it is computation is not so much computation is just there because it’s numbers we thought is computation, but we don’t really need to add anything out and there are many I mentioned about visual spatial, memory critical thinking, a little bit computation and concentration, that’s about five stimulation in one activity. Isn’t that great?

Anthony Hartcher 18:24
That’s fantastic. I’m gonna get into it.

Shannon Chin 18:27
Yeah try it out, try it out and it’s really especially like, because when we do it on the paper form, the booking form, it’s so much more challenging compared to those games. But as a beginner, you can always download that free game, Sudoku and they are also three or four levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced or difficult level and there is a time limit as well to how quickly you can solve it. It’s really exciting games.

Anthony Hartcher 18:56
I’m keen on then you’re sharing some language examples because when I was doing the introduction, I was looking for a word and you actually helped me after I did the introduction, but I was stuck on that prevention because to me, it didn’t sound like the right word and you shared you know, it’s risk reducing strategies and so it’s always been something I’ve struggled with is you know, in communication is looking for the right word, and I am constantly challenged by it. So I’m really keen on what could I do to help me improve that word search in my memory or In my brain.

Shannon Chin 19:37
Yeah, so we’ll share my example as I go through go down my list. So I spoke about examples of visual spatial orientation and also like to explain how will visual spatial orientation, this particular function help us in the future. So when we have got a healthy found visual spatial orientation of function. When we grow older, for someone who is say 70, or 80 or 90, it will be able to help the person continue to, to recognize faces, that children when children very important, the pet, and then the direction, the route, where they’re hating going out for shopping and things like that and also the objects.

Recognizing what objects is what object, and very importantly, is to be able to tell the distance between objects, and that way it can help to reduce the risk of fall. I’m not saying it’s foolproof. However, it will be able because logically thinking when the person is able to tell the distance between say this object and that object, and also is that floor is that all even, that’s all because of a visual spatial orientation function. When that happens, and that person still has really good function, it will reduce the risk of falls. So that’s a very strong function to make sure that we keep that healthy.

Now moving on to the next function that I talked about is memory and a lot of time we thought, okay, memory, sometimes, some people are born with a really fantastic memory, I have to say, and some people are born with photogenic memory, some people are born with a really special memory that they can really remember numbers so well, all these things. However, as a person grow older, that function starts to I would say, No, I’m searching for the right word, that may start to compromise a little bit as we grow older.

I’m just saying like me, as an example, when I was much, much, much younger. I never have to write down anybody’s phone number. When the moment someone tells me that phone number, then phone number, I remember it for weeks and months and, but now, a little bit more mature. I can’t quite remember all of the numbers, although we’ve practiced with a lot of stimulation is coming back. So what sort of activities can we do in terms of stimulating this function?

The first one is very easy to do, is called recall word recall, as well as mental juggling. Now, and how do you do that doesn’t incur any cost, we don’t need to go and buy any activities book, all you need to do is when you read or from the papers, pick out seven to nine longish words like seven to nine, Alphabet nine character, list them down in ran random order on a piece of a4 paper big enough and spent about 10 seconds 20 seconds, memorizing those words.

So seven to nine words long each word not short for four-letter, longish word, memorize them in a specific order and then put that piece of paper away and try and recite those words in that specific order, top to bottom, then bottom to top. Then the third challenge is to recite those words in alphabetical order. That is a really good, simple, easy-to-do memory training exercise, and anyone can do it, we don’t need to go out to the shop and buy anything.

Just pick any words like for example, we’ve got looking at your background, we’ve got wellness, we’ve got clinical, we’ve got nutritionist we have got Anthony, we can add, keep adding on and, and in random order and also, as we go through this particular exercise, sometimes you’ll notice how your brain function in critical thinking because that’s stimulating critical thinking. Some people will associate that in a storytelling manner in our brain.

So that explains how our brain is so fantastic actually works this way to help us with memory function. So this is very easy to do, the other one is memory training cards. I didn’t bring it here. It’s a set of cards that comes in pairs and what we do is sometimes typically is in scenery or any images pair in pair and what we do is that we organize them we start off with four or five pairs, organize them in random order, put it on the table, spend about 10 seconds memorizing the position of the cards of the pair, and then flip them close.

Then flip the open one card and look for another matching card, it’s again, very simple to do. Sometimes people might feel is a kiddie game like that is a very powerful yet simple to memory training activity that we can do. Also great to do it with friends around and also with parents or grandparents, it’s a lot of fun. I’ve done it up to eight pairs, which is 16 cars in one go. I was like, I have to like, take a deep breath, and go and tell myself I can do it. It took me two attempts. It’s really fun to do that.

Yeah, I’m happy for listeners to reach out to me, I do have some cards that I could send it to them as my gift and I’ve made them with love so and then, unfortunately, they’re just scenery or some there’s another set is words. So words are even harder because I put in like positive words, positive quotes and so and same, same logic, they come in pair and we have to then remember the words as well as the position, not just a picture because the brain logic normally remembers pictures better than words.

So that’s another level of stimulation, these two, and then for long term memory, we can use talking about discussing historical events and places, which you don’t normally do that unless we are talking to our parents or grandparents, interviewing them about the war, that sort of thing and also our storytelling. Sometimes when we tell stories about ourselves or about someone else, it is a great memory stimulation, activity to do.

Now, the other one is some people love it, some people don’t is trivia. I for one, don’t enjoy trivia but there are people who are just X excellent at it. Now, if you’re someone who’s great at trivia, I wouldn’t recommend it continue doing trivia, I would recommend, doing the others word recall, memory training cards, historical events, and places do all those different things. When we’re great at one thing we want to be doing stimulating the brain with others. So these are some examples of memory stimulation activities. How am I doing so far? Is that okay? That’s it. Is that relatable?

Anthony Hartcher 27:30
That’s fantastic. I actually remember a game I was playing when I was a kid and I can’t remember the name of the game trying to find the name in my brain. But it was those picture matching and having that random assortment and just yeah, I just remember there was something that there was a game growing up that I played that when you share that activity I could relate to absolutely.

Shannon Chin 27:59
Yeah and also talking about that just one more thing we can do like I’ve, I’ve increased the level of challenge for my clients, when I do this memory stimulation activities with them, is instead of giving them pairs of cards, I gave them association card, which means they’ll look at the pair would be a chicken, a hen and a bunch of eggs because they’re related.

They’re a pair and then toothpaste and toothbrush, socks and sneakers, that sort of thing and I put them again, same logic, random order, they have got to now figure out oh, when I see the chicks, which picture is, is that the chicken? No, I’m looking for chicks. That’s another level of simulation, so to your point, you can actually if you still have that, or your children have it, you can actually start playing that with them.

Anthony Hartcher 28:54
Yeah, no, it’s a very practical and easy task to do and as you said, you can do it with friends and challenge one another and yeah, these activities that you can involve others and not do it as a family unit. So um, I think they’re brilliant and this and then that it’s not there’s no high cost associated with anything you’ve mentioned.

Shannon Chin 29:17
Not at all. It’s very practical. Yeah, I’m a very practical person.

Anthony Hartcher 29:21
Yeah. It’s fantastic that, you know, there are certain activities that touch on the majority of the areas that you’ve mentioned, like Sudoku. Yeah. So.

Shannon Chin 29:33
Yeah because we never know because a lot of people thought ah Sudoku, that’s a numbers game is actually not when you really deep dive into it. It gives us it gives the brain a lot more stimulation than we thought. So I smile when I see people playing Sudoku on the train. I just love it.

Anthony Hartcher 29:54
So what’s the tip around language? So, you know, for me being brought up in Australia, learn English and most of the world speaks some English and so, you know, there’s no real driver for me to pick up a second language, a strong driver and so I’m just thinking around that language and particularly around this word recall how what can I do?

Shannon Chin 30:22
Yeah, with language, some examples would be, of course, I always tell people reading is a very strong one. As we read more we as the brain will absorb and be able to recall a lot more vocabularies, a lot more words and in these days, we don’t read as much as our older generations do, I have to say that.

Uhm and it’s also different generations do things differently. Like the older generation, they read a lot, really a lot, and they are really fast and the generation in between, like us, that I think we are Generation X, not y, I can’t, I don’t even know what generation I am. We still read and also we have a mix of between reading and also a social platforms. Now for our next generation, and even the next one, do they read much?

Anthony Hartcher 31:23
They watch, they watch a lot that has, so watching short clips, and not very long, the attention span and this is why I’m keen to also get on to concentration activities, or is there anything specific because I’m thinking, the younger generation, there’s so much stimulus that there’s so much distraction, that concentration is a real issue.

Shannon Chin 31:43
Then short span.

Anthony Hartcher 31:44
Yeah, short span.

Shannon Chin 31:45
Short attention span? Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 31:47
This is why, you know, tick-tock has taken off because it’s all short video snippets, like, you know, watching a long broadcast such as this podcast, you know, that’s just the.

Shannon Chin 32:02
We lose them halfway.

Anthony Hartcher 32:02
I lost them in the introduction.

Shannon Chin 32:04
I think so too.

Hello, they’re gone. Yeah, reading is still one of the top ones for language. The other one is a crossword, do a lot of crossword puzzles and, again, crossword, some people love it, some people don’t and it’s very stimulating because it gets the brain to keep searching deep within us is not in the dictionary in our brain. Because we have learned so well, I don’t know millions of words in our heads here. It’s just that when we don’t use those words, so often, we find it a bit hard to search for the correct word.

Like you do have those words within you, Anthony is a matter of searching that relatable word and appropriate word or associated word. So it is about that when we do a crossword, it really gets us to think deeply and search deep and that is one of the activities that we can do to stimulate that to exercise that function. Now the other one is the word grid. Now word grip because some of the activities that we have is we have so many grids, but there’s only one letter given and then a few more letters, and we have to start making up words and that is a very short also powerful language stimulation TV for us and the other one is a word search.

Now what search sometimes we might think it’s what such has got at least two stimulation. One is the visual spatial or navigation stimulation, because we got to make sense always diagonal up diagonal down, is that right to left, left to right and that’s very good stimulation. As well as language because sometimes some words search, it’s got so many words that sometimes we may not know those words and as we go through it, we get curious and then we get curious and those we kind of lookout for the words, and then it stays in the brain.

Whatever that we do in terms of language activity, when it evolves, when it involves the brain to think, the eyes to read, and our hand to write its code goes really deep. It gives us really deep stimulation. So the other thing is writing. So because a lot of time when we type is different to writing down. Yeah, I believe you will agree Anthony, when we write, yeah go.

Anthony Hartcher 34:40
Yeah, and I totally agree. Yeah, so please share. I’m intrigued.

Shannon Chin 34:44
Yeah, when we write, when, and again is the art. This action of writing when we write the brain has to thin,k the brain has to think about what word and how do I spell it? And at the same time when we write it down, what happened is that the eyes is looking at what we’re writing as we think and, and it kind of gave us that double stimulation because it goes back into our brain what we write and therefore, we tend to remember things better when we write it down, rather than reading it. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but it works for a lot of people.

Anthony Hartcher 35:24
Yeah, and you think of the way in which schooling is going today, you know, kids are taking computers to the school. So they’re typing a lot more, same with the university. So when they go to lectures, students will take laptops, even, or even iPads, or, you know, those devices, tablets, and in there taking notes directly on the tablets and so this written, you know, this writing down is, is sort of been diminished over time.

Shannon Chin 35:52
Yeah and still, I have to say, writing is still a very strong and powerful, practical language stimulation for the brain. Yeah, and because as we keep writing more words come out. Yeah, that’s what happened.

Anthony Hartcher 36:10
And like what I’m finding today, when, you know, I guess that’s that movement towards that artificial intelligence coming into it. So when you’re writing the predictive text, for example, so based on what you’ve written previously, and you start writing a similar sentence, he will predict the rest of the sentence and so the autocorrect, around spelling, the autocorrect, around grammar, there’s less thinking, you know, well, obviously quicker and more efficient. But that that will, everything you’ve mentioned around cognition and.

Shannon Chin 36:47
It doesn’t, he doesn’t really give that kick for the brain to really work harder and therefore, like, for me, I’m one that I turn off auto spelling, I turn off auto-correcting, I don’t like those, when we type in the word pop up, I turn it off, I like to type it myself, I like to spell it myself. If I get it wrong, that’s fine. At least I’m spelling it.

Anthony Hartcher 37:09
So true and particularly like I notice when I’m using Google word, for example, or writing an email in Gmail, it’s sort of picking up the, all this what I’ve used previously, and just putting it in front of me, I’m just saying it’s so easy just to hit Tab because it’s.

Shannon Chin 37:26
Yeah tab, tab, tab.

Anthony Hartcher 37:27
But then I’m not thinking of different ways of wording, that sentence or, you know, that creativity is lost.

Shannon Chin 37:35

Anthony Hartcher 37:35
Because I could come up with better ways of putting that message, you know, and then better communication, better language skills, if I was having to do it myself. So that incremental improvements have been lost just because of this, here, I guess, we take that path of least resistance, don’t we?

Shannon Chin 37:54
We do it quick, efficient because everyone seems to be rushing and in the speed of, I don’t know, like catching a plane or corn court or, you know, and however, I strongly recommend that we still go to do some writing. Even, you know, writing at least every morning, or writing, I always encourage people to write a gratitude journal or an acknowledgment journal. I can because that’s very, right. It’s very good for a brain and this relates back to some of the activity, my, my, the eight pillars, which is the spirituality relaxation, you know, all these things are interrelated when you really look at it that way.

So, yeah, and the other example of language, of course, perhaps not a new element, or a new invention that you don’t quite have to drive to learn a new language. In fact, learning a new language is also a very good stimulation to learn a new language. I don’t know if I mentioned it in the previous episode, so that’s this Chinese woman. She only started learning she came to Australia when she was maybe in her 60s or 70s.

She knows no word of English, she only speaks Chinese, Cantonese, whatever and she only started learning how to use a computer at the age of 85. She’s going about 96, 97 still going strong and she only started learning English at the age of 80. Fascinating, she’s, yeah, you can’t get her to write a full paragraph like the full, full page. However, she’s good enough to get by like to communicate what she needs and all that. That’s pretty good for the fact that she’s only started learning at 80

Anthony Hartcher 39:48
It’s never too late. Now. We can learn new things all throughout our life, never too late.

Shannon Chin 39:55

Anthony Hartcher 39:56
And we don’t need it for what I’m hearing today in terms of these activities. We should never think we’ve outgrown something, either, in a sense that they’re still important today as they were when we were growing up and developing in terms of that continual mental stimulation and constant improvement.

Shannon Chin 40:14

Anthony Hartcher 40:15
Yeah, so I think that’s so valuable in terms of what you shared, because those activities that listeners viewers will certainly resonate with, because, you know, they would have had some exposure to them when they were growing up, or it or during a period of adulthood, but they’ve just left them because they’ve moved on to something. You know, maybe it’s social media, you know, there are all the distractions, exactly.

Shannon Chin 40:41

Anthony Hartcher 40:42
Yeah, we’ve seen that you know, too much social media is not good for us, and this enables them to go back to some of these more traditional activities that still provide stimulation, but it’s also really helping them on these risk preventing things based preventing strategies. Later, we certainly none of us wish dementia on anyone. So.

Shannon Chin 41:09
Absolutely not, we want to do what we can and I always say, you know, if we can do something right now, why leave it till later, as always, my, my kind of my court sort of speak and there’s one other thing that is very practical that people can use, that’s in terms of like we all go to the shop, we are going to the shop, we all go and grab some groceries, some food, even a sandwich, whatever and sometimes we’re getting more and say a few items.

Now I always tell people and they actually went out and do it and they love it does your mental math exercises as you shop. That means if you take Item A or shampoo that some 7,99 sandwich as 6,99, keep adding them up as you shop, and see if you got it right when you check out at the cashier. That is a really fantastic yet fun activity to do. I do it all the time and a lot of people went out and started doing that. They said it’s so good. It’s again, it doesn’t cost them anything at the same time it is, they are doing their shopping and at the same time, they are stimulating their brain.

Anthony Hartcher 42:25
It also takes a task that people would consider mundane and boring and creates a challenge with it. So it actually makes it a more exciting adventure.

Shannon Chin 42:38
It’s fun,

Anthony Hartcher 42:39
It’s fun. Exactly. Yeah.

Shannon Chin 42:41
And that’s more is it adds on another layer of difficulty sometimes we change our mind, or I don’t want this packet of spinach, I want to get another one and that’s different pricing. So therefore we have to remember what are the items and the prices for each of the items in the basket and then we add them so that’s really a really good and practical computation functions simulation.

Anthony Hartcher 43:11
That’s fantastic. You’ve said so many valuable gems with us today Shannon, I really appreciate it and I’m sure the listeners are agreeing with me. How can the listeners best connect with you if they’d like to you know get involved with some of the programs you offer or buy your book?

Shannon Chin 43:28
Well, they can access my book website which I believe Anthony you have it is actually and for my fit minds website as well as to check out more about mental stimulation about the program that we offer. In fact, if people are interested to do to getting some daily dose of mental stimulation I do offer for a short period of time free daily brain exercises so they already know to subscribe to it and they get they receive it every my every day at seven in the morning Sydney time.

Then the next day they receive the answer those are really short kinds of brain teasers and we are divided into every day is actually stimulating the different parts of the brain. So yeah, Tuesday is always critical thinking sometimes Friday is Friday we share we call it with the Lee lifestyle challenge series. Sometimes we talk about vitamins, sometimes we talk about food, sometimes we talk about different things and also, for people who like to have a copy of the eight things they need to know about brain health.

They can always send me an email, which I believe Anthony you will be happy to share those contact information. Yeah, and reach out to me via email or my fit minds website for the book they can reach out to my book website or just send me an email.

Anthony Hartcher 45:03
Absolutely. And I’ll include everything you’ve mentioned in the show notes so the listeners can just or viewers can go directly to the show notes under wherever this is published, and they’ll have a direct link to your website, your book, your email. So I really appreciate your time today, Shannon, it was a great insight.

It’s been extremely helpful for me, and I’m sure everyone else that’s listened in and for the listeners if you’ve liked the episode, please like it and share it with others so that we can reach more people and really help them reduce the risk of dementia and really create a society that’s smarter, got better cognitive function, and remembers lots for as long as they possibly can. So thanks for tuning in and stay tuned for more insightful episodes of me and my health up.

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