Do-it-yourself anti-dementia

Sunday regular Peter Leith applauds a social group that puts simplicity before governance.

Do-it-yourself anti-dementia

Sunday regular Peter Leith says he is “half blind and half deaf”, but that has only added to his insights. In a continuation of his Aspects of Ageing series, the 90-year-old applauds a social group that puts simplicity before governance.


At the Pottsville Neighbourhood Community Centre there’s a group called Stretch Your Mind. The driving force and group facilitator is a retired teacher aged 87. The group’s physical and mental activities are designed to do exactly what the name implies – stretch the minds of the participants.

The group meets for three hours every Thursday from noon.

Perhaps the most remarkable and noteworthy aspect of this group is that it works … from the ground up and not from the top down.

It has no constitution, president, secretary, committee, minutes or annual general meeting. It just concentrates on activities that keep its members minds ‘stretched’.

It does not have to be a large group. Too big would kill it. All it needs is to get its members involved.

It does not need, want or demand government funding. It illustrates that from-the-ground-up movements are, often, much more successful than towering edifices of top-down bureaucracy.

Why don’t you, too, have a go at starting a from-the-ground-up group?

Do you have an idea or observation for Peter? Send it to and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line and we will forward it to him.

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    24th Nov 2019
    Sounds good. Would love to hear what the group gets up to!

    A year ago I was instructed to do weight bearing walking including step-ups & downs, (following diagnosis for osteoporos of the spjne). The initial recommendation being to have medication, which I declined, opting to walk, & do vitamin D & Calcium. Thus upon (power) walking 4 klms 5 days av. weekly, my diagnosis has been scaled down! I have noticed the walking really seems to really stimulates the dopamine or endorphine activity in the brain, & while my overall memory is good, (I reckon), some really simple facts seem to be eluding me at times! Any thoughts on that, thanks.
    24th Nov 2019
    According to reports, JB, taking vitamin K2 with vitamin D is better than calcium.
    24th Nov 2019
    Hi JB, I agree that walking is the best exercise. I've also got some degenerative changes in my spine and painful left knee. I also like my 20mins of Chi Gong. Vit D sounds good but don't take too much calcium -- hard to absorb & can cause heart problems.
    25th Nov 2019
    Qi Gong and walking both great for mental and physical well being. Swimming or exercising in water is also good, even though not load bearing, because it increases muscle mass and iseasy on the joints. Calcium supplements are generally not well absorbed so keep up the dairy (or kale if you like it) which are both good sources of bioavailable calcium.

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