Quick—before I forget—Barbara Strauch suggests “How to Train the Aging Brain” (New York Times, December 29, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/education/edlife/03adult-t.html?hp).
She identifies the strengths and challenges of the middle aged brain (strengths—the older we get, the better we can get the main idea of something; weaknesses—our brains are so stuffed with facts that retrieving them becomes increasingly difficult to do on demand).
Then she suggests techniques for building on the strengths and addresses the weaknesses. My favorite--forcing people to confront ideas that are different than their own. That should wake them up.
Oh—one more good piece of news. Strauch extended middle age to the upper 60s. I feel like she gave me back some of my youth!
(Strauch is publishing a book on the subject this April.)