Learning another language has long been held by mental health experts as beneficial to one’s memory, verbal and non-verbal communications, as well as math skills.
But a new study suggests that bilingualism is especially valuable for seniors.
But as reported by science news website RedOrbit.com, researchers from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UKCM) have found seniors who are born and raised in bilingual environments have better changes of avoiding cognitive decline with age than their peers who grew up with only one language.
That could potentially translate to a lower chance of contracting Alzheimer’s Disease, less of a need to move into an Alzheimer Care community.
“This suggests that bilingual seniors use their brains more efficiently than monolingual seniors,” researcher Brian Gold of UKCM told the news source. “Together, these results suggest that lifelong bilingualism may exert its strongest benefits on the functioning of frontal brain regions in aging.”
One of the potential long-term impacts of this study could be more funding for bilingual education, and more opportunities for parents to educate their children at home in another language.
Did you grow up speaking two languages? Do you feel it benefitted you as a child, and do you still see the benefits now? Tell us about it in the comment section below.