Ageing and life-course

Brain health across the life course in Indonesia

The Indonesian Ministry of Health’s Centre of Health and Intelligence, has recently implemented an initiative aimed at building cognitive resilience and functioning across the life course.

The activities start early in life and include:

  • ensuring brain stimulation of and adequate nutrition to the fetus during pregnancy;
  • ensuring sensory–motor stimulation in infants, and using games and learning tools for cognitivecstimulation in toddlers;
  • optimizing the learning environment for schoolage children and teens;
  • providing health promotion activities for adults that are targeted at encouraging healthy lifestyles, physical exercise, social activities and the development of stress-management skills;
  • ensuring early detection of cognitive decline or related degenerative or vascular disorders in older adults.

The central tool used in this initiative is known as the executive brain assessment. The tool assesses different competencies, emotional intelligence and cognitive function, and indicates which activities should be offered to the person enrolled in the programme.

This initiative is notable in that it demonstrates a life-course approach to building cognitive resilience and resources, which are important in preventing and delaying cognitive declines later in life. The Ministry of Health has implemented the programme nationally.

Source: The World report on ageing, WHO 2015.
Trisa Wahyuni Putri, Centre of Health and Intelligence, Ministry of Health, Indonesia, personal communication, 24 September 2014