top of page

In the news

Image by Georg Arthur Pflueger

The Ageing Brain:
What You Need to Know

As we age, our bodies and minds go through changes. It's natural to wonder what we can expect from our brain as we get older, and how we can help maintain our mental health and wellbeing. In this article, we will be exploring what you need to know about the ageing brain, based on an insightful interview we conducted with Dr Sonja Hough here at Senso Health.

Understanding the early signs of brain ageing

The first signs of an ageing brain can be very subtle and might even start as early as age 30. According to Dr Hough, executive function is the first aspect of the brain to deteriorate, which can result in slower reasoning, difficulties with unfamiliar tasks, and decreased organisational skills. Slower thinking and talking are also common, but these are considered as normal signs of ageing and not related to dementia.

Tracking the decline of brain function

Dr Hough states that after the age of 60, one will start to notice a slow decline. After the age of 70, there may be a more rapid decline.

Maintaining brain function through life

There are several ways to help slow down the ageing of the brain and maintain brain function.


Many studies have proven that stimulation of the brain, throughout one’s life, will aid in the speed at which the brain ages. Including activities such as, crosswords, sudoku and learning new skills, into your daily life, will allow for slower deterioration of the brain. Living a healthy and happy lifestyle will too, have a positive impact.

Caring for a loved one with dementia

Caring for a person with dementia can be a challenging experience, but there are ways to make it easier. Dr Hough offers the following tips:


Empower yourself by understanding what dementia is and how it affects the brain.

Approach caring for the person with dementia as a team, with the help of community doctors and other resources. Maintain compassion and empathy, as the person with dementia, may have little insight into their behaviour.


Caretakers, in particular family members, must collaborate and rely on both local medical professionals and the community at large. It might be really difficult, and you will need all the help you can get. One shouldn't have to do it alone.

Recognising normal brain ageing

Aging of the brain is inevitable. According to Dr Hough, after the age of 60 and 70, short-term memory, also known as, working memory, does moderately decline.


One should only be concerned when signs of rapid decline occur (e.g., visiting someone one month and the following month they forget names of family members or long-term pets).


One needs to remember that it is not only memory but also self-regulation and insight that can alert one of dementia. Rapid changes in overall behavior and personality are symptoms not to ignore, and further investigation will need to take place. In addition, if rapid decline starts to happen at an early age (e.g., between 60-70 years old), there is reason for concern.

The benefits of sub-acute care for people with dementia

A sub-acute facility, like Senso Health, can provide a supportive environment for people with dementia who require rehabilitation. With a full interdisciplinary team, including occupational therapists, physios, and speech therapists, Senso Health’s key objective is to help the patient gain confidence and learn important tasks, such as dressing and mobility, at their own pace.


The ageing brain is a complex and often misunderstood aspect of ageing. If you're caring for a loved one with dementia, it's important to approach it with compassion and understanding and to empower yourself with the right information and support.

bottom of page