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Cognitive decline.

Two words that when coupled together can take on a threatening
appearance. This is because the one thing many of us worry about more
than anything in relation to ageing, is the fear that we might lose our

Last week I was talking with a friend who was expressing her concern
about the cognitive capacity of a person she was working with. She
hadn’t known him long, but had observed that he appeared to be making a
lot more mistakes than she would have expected for someone of his
experience and position. That he sometimes showed lack of judgment (in
her eyes) and that he seemed quite aggressive and resistant when asked
fairly innocuous questions about his work.

She was a little surprised also that the others in the organisation who
have known him for far longer than she has, haven’t made any comment
about the situation.

The added problem?

He is the boss.

So what do you do if someone in the workplace seems to be showing signs
of memory problems? Do you have a policy or agreed procedure on what to
do or who to approach?

If not, then it may be time to actively start putting this into place
because we have a rapidly ageing and shrinking workforce, and the older
our workforce, the greater the potential risk of cognitive decline
becoming an issue.

This was the subject I was recently invited to speak on, to a business,
because they have had this challenge crop up and want to implement
training for their staff in this area. Sadly this is an area that is
going to become a “hot topic” as more people over the age of 65 either
choose to, or have to stay in the workforce.

There is much to consider, and much that can be done. Brain fitness is
all about maintaining our cognitive capacity and is ideally kept up
across the lifespan. Research has revealed that the critical age to be
looking after our brains is actually our forties and fifties when
cognitive decline can first start to reveal itself.

If this is an area that you believe your business and organisation needs to know more about, then let’s talk.

This is not something that is going to go away. We can’t afford to bury
our head in the sand. Cognitive decline is a real issue for the
workplace and it is already here.

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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