The Wrinklies compete with each other in weekly table tennis sessions
The sprightly bunch known as the Wrinklies have 16 members with a combined age of 1,290 years.
The group have been having a ball taking part in weekly table tennis sessions in Ottery St Mary, Devon and attribute the game to helping them stay young.
They include John Clapham, 81 who suffers from dementia.
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His wife Barbara said: “He has vascular dementia, he has little feeling below his knees in both legs.
“He uses a walking frame to walk on the road but when he plays table tennis you wouldn’t believe it – he comes alive.”
Diana O’Flynn, the oldest member of the Wrinklies at 94, said: “You have to move a bit to play. That’s probably not a bad thing.
The group say that the activity helps them stay young and ward of dementia
“It’s better than a rocking chair and a tartan rug.”
When he plays table tennis you wouldn’t believe it – he comes alive
Group organiser Elli Pang said: “It has helped members cope with dementia.”
British scientists are currently carrying out research into whether playing table tennis can help tackle the onset or symptoms of dementia.
The Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy charity has produced a table tennis therapy programme to treat sufferers.
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According to research table tennis can help stimulate the hippocampus in the brain
Andrew Battley, BAT’s research and training director, said: “In those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s, the hippocampus is shown to be smaller, but activity such as table tennis has been shown to help with blood flow to the brain and stimulate that part of it.
“The idea is that if the hippocampus is stimulated and therefore bigger, and not left to waste away, it can support the brain to hold back symptoms of Alzheimer’s for longer.”
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