Sabina Brennan

Sabina  Brennan

Educator: Strategies for Successful Ageing
Psychologist, Neuroscientist and Author '100 Days to a Younger Brain'
Twitter @Sabina_Brennan

Location Ireland


  • You are referring to general statistics about life expectancy and you are correct in that . There are objective statistics when it comes to gender and life expectancy also. On average women live longer than men - so if you and a female were in hospital and the doctor could only save one of you would you be happy for them to choose the female because on...

  • I think we need more older role models - which is where I think media has a responsibility - they need to move from stereotypes and start showing us the living breathing wonderful, interesting exciting older people that populate this world @LynFile

  • I often wonder how wisdom and life experience lost its value in western society -

  • I agree ageism works both ways - I hope that I made that clear that I was just focusing on one aspect of ageism in this module @WendyFulton

  • I am sorry to hear that you found my contribution sloppy - The example is simplistic and designed to be though-provoking - you are correct that based on statistics older people have less chance of survival than younger people but one would hope that when an individual is being treated that general statistics are not the only thing considered - if that were the...

  • Ian - yes you are correct taking general life-expectancy stats into account that seems to make perfect sense and is I believe what happens in reality. But lets forget about age for a moment and take two patients with cancer - based on statistics associated with the cancer itself one individual has a much greater chance of survival than the other - we are...

  • You are very welcome Agnes - thank you for watching - I think that culture and conditioning are the main reasons

  • lol - did I chicken out? the guess I never solved the dilemma to make the point that more information than age should be required to make the decision - to be honest I am glad I don't have to make such decisions but I do believe that I can effect change by checking myself for ageism as I go about my life

  • sorry to hear that Denise

  • yes an old person is always about 20 years older than we are at the time

  • for me it makes sense that we would have more to say and that our insight and creativity would increase rather than decrease with age

  • I didn't begin studying until my 40s and am enjoying my new career - best of luck and wishing you a long career

  • The media coverage is often positioned in a way that apportions 'blame' on older people. Of course I would also save my sons - however let me ask you this if the choice was between you and a 24 year old you don't know would you chose to save them over you simply because they are younger than you? if it was between your mother and a 24 year old would you choose...

  • I totally agree Glenny - older people can be very ageist and all forms of ageism need to be tackled

  • our self-perceptions are hugely powerful. I think its good to question our choices if only to make sure we aren't limiting them based on ageist perceptions

  • I think that is the key - we need more opportunity for contact across the generations - and that includes engaging with people younger than us as well as older than us

  • that's the point really ageism is so engrained no one would save the older person

  • Hi Everyone, I'm one of the educators on the course - I live in Ireland and look forward to getting to know you over the next few weeks. Enjoy the course

  • there is great reward in helping others and in volunteering - well done you and I wish you a speedy recovery

  • lovely story - I went to adopt a kitten once and came home with the entire litter of 6 - I thought 2 of them were boys but all turned out to be female

  • Congratulations - well done you

  • yes that sound like you pushed yourself to the edge of your comfort zone. and yes you are also right its time for a new challenge - you can do that again if it still gives you the same sense of challenge or you can start a new adventure - the choice is yours

  • I do completely see your point but I do think that there are lots of things that you can do that don't require unlimited fund - to be honest some of the rewarding things like volunteering require only an investment of your time

  • Oh I quite like the idea of a gap year

  • keep ticking them off and then keep adding more - its great to have goals

  • go for it Judith. I thought I was doing very well going to university in my 40s but I have since met lots of people who are still taking universiy courses in their 80s and 90s - As Nike says Just Do IT

  • I've been having senior moments (more accurately termed absent mindedness) since I was about ten - my mum used to say I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on -

  • pa build up of plaques and tangles are associated with Alzheimers disease. but it is important to note that not everyone with plaques has Alzheimers symtoms. Also sleep is very important in helping to prevent the build up of placques

  • The key is to keep challenging yourself - if you are already doing some activities push yourself to the next level. Make sure to incorporate novelty into your life, new people, new experiences, new places and finally keep on learning because neuroplasticity is the brain's capacity to learn

  • Dear Anne Marie - you might find this website that i developed specifically for people living with MS useful - you may well know a lot of the information already but it does explain the relevance of neural reserve in the context of MS

  • you are welcome

  • Lelia indeed you have a better chance of remembering something the more senses you employ. Thats how we learn as children, we explore the world through all of our sense. Then we go to school and we are taught to learn by rote which is very much focussed on the aural or oral aspects - so I would advocate bringing your full attention into play so that means all...

  • thank you Janet

  • I like this perspective very much - I shall steal it for my talks if you don't mine Margaret

  • my husband does that too, but usually the items he forgets are the ones that I added to the list

  • I love this - yes unfortunately those tests can seem rather insulting when you are in possession of your full faculties but the very simple nature of the tests can be very useful in revealing when things are seriously amiss

  • Most of us will experience a general slowing as we do with our physical functioning. When it takes us a little longer to cross the road we dont generally refer to that as being physically impaired we simply say that we are a bit slower than we used to be. But at 40 we are slower than we were at 20 - but relatively few will experience a decline in cognitive...

  • I think it is dangerous to make decisions based on age alone - we all age differently
    and yes Reagan most probably had symptoms but the majority of older people will not develop dementia

  • it is intentionally over simplistic to underscore the point that knowing only one variable about the patient is not sufficient to make a decision. However I will go on to say that doctors in hospitals make these decisions everyday. Due to financial constraints they make choices and as a consequence some patients get treated more favourably than others. Older...

  • We are currently upgrading the App which may lead to difficulties downloading it for your phone. You can however use online by typing We apologise for any inconvenience.

  • Shiela - the app should be working fine - the 'out of date' is an apple error message it doesn't mean that the app itself is out of date - nonetheless we are currently upgrading the system -

  • Hi Charles - are you still having problems? Let me know

  • Helen Sigi are you still having problems ?

  • yes I was the same with names

  • I've just started the HIIT myself - very energising

  • yup you can do it that way too - there is actually a pen an paper version of the app here

  • glad you got it sorted - there are guidelines here

  • glad you like it

  • Nell - you are correct - in midlife being obese increases your risk but in late life being underweight does -

  • that is such a lovely way to approach brain health

  • Hi Philip apologies for that - you can use the app on any computer or on your phone here - ask your computer to remember your password so you dont have to log in every time There are guidelines on how to use it here

  • you can just select one a day - you can see your progress on the graph - download the guidelines here

  • there are also guidelines here

  • donald you can use it here on any computer

  • sounds like you have the hang of it

  • sounds like you are doing all of the right things Wendy - remember to keep challenging yourself

  • there are guidelines on how to use it here - it doesn't do anything fancy it just gives you a suggestion each day of something that you can do for your brain health

  • you can use it on a computer also - - or download a pen and paper version from our resources page

  • sounds like a wonderful idea

  • You can use it directly here if you prefer

  • build up slowly with exercise to 150 minutes per week - doing strength training is super important I have just started lifting weights myself - but I am taking instruction so that I do it properly and dont injure myself

  • yes they are the same - its just different means of accessing it

  • While the brain needs glucose (sugar) for energy - too much of it is bad for a number of reasons -

  • yes Shiela it is good news but to date there is no real evidence to support brain training games but there is for challenging your self, learning new things and meeting new people -

  • yes there are lots of things that we can do to aid and support memory

  • Sorry to hear about your mum Diane - there is no absolute guarantee - most of the research in terms of lifestyle influences is around late life dementia - if your mum got dementia in her 60s it sounds like she had early onset dementia about which far less is known

  • Indeed - when I was a teenager my mum used to say I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on

  • brilliant

  • thank you for the 'positive feedback' Fiona

  • you are very welcome

  • glad you found it positive

  • correct

  • yes - attention, attention attention

  • exactly

  • We are currently upgrading the App but it still should be working properly can you send me details of what is not working and what phone you are using - also you can use it on your computer

  • I like that one Ros

  • Linda - my mum had dementia also so I understand your concern - dementia describes when the brain malfunctions - Alzheimer's Disease is the most common cause of dementia in later life but there are others - vascular dementia, frontal lobe dementia and Lewy body dementia are others - There is a genetic component to dementia but it is small compared to the...

  • you are correct - Attention is key - if you are not attending to where you put something then you cant encode the information - you might like the animation Why is attention important?

  • Yes the video was asking to make the decision on age alone to make the point that people will make important decisions based on age that they wouldn't for any other equality criteria.

  • Shiela, loved reading your reply - thought provoking stuff in there for me also - thank you Sabina

  • Hi Carol - you are very welcome, glad that you enjoyed it Sabina

  • Hi June - yes it is important to acknowledge that ageism works in both directions and we must try to see individuals

  • Thank you Michael - I am glad that you liked the video

  • yes elder has a nicer ring to it - I am really not a fan of the term elderly as there are some many connotations of weakness and frailty associated with it -

  • Its a terribly difficult situation no one wants to have to choose but if you use age as the only factor in your decision making where do you draw the line? 57, 47, 37, 29? Also you are correct a 27 year old would on average be healthier and have a better chance of survival but what if the 27 year old had terminal cancer or a life limiting condition?

  • you know I was the same when I went to university for the first time at 42 - I thought all the young students would leave me behind but my life experience served me very well as did my motivation and effort

  • I love that mixture it makes for fun and stimulation - we have lost a lot of that in some western cultures - I loved holidaying in Italy in places where the Italians holidayed themselves - all generations together on the beach - and they always seemed so engaged with each other and animated in conversation

  • glad you liked the video Wendy

  • 'm all for ringing in a new approach

  • you are very welcome

  • I think we all make assumptions but once we are aware and once we question ourselves then we are less likely to act on those assumptions -

  • glad you found the video stimulating -

  • hope it makes a difference

  • the intention is to provoke thought so I am glad it succeeded

  • I'm mid fifties too and I feel my career is only starting in a way because I changed career - starting by going to university in my 40s - would you consider a career change, retraining, university?

  • but that is exactly the point you need to look for more information than just age before making a decision

  • glad you enjoyed it

  • good on you :)

  • She sounds like a lovely lady - you must miss her - I think thats one key thing is people can talk to older people differently