86-year-old Houston man diagnosed with dementia staving off Alzheimer's with boxing gloves

It's called Neuro-boxing, it helps improve overall coordination and cognitive motor skills.

"It's challenging your brain to think quick," said Jena Hoofnagle, fitness specialist at The Buckingham, a premier senior living community. 

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"Thinking quick makes this muscle do this or do this."

What 86-year-old Charlie Handly is doing would be hard for a lot of people half his age.

"As you get older, age is working hard against you," Hoofnagle said. "So you've really got to work, spend a lot of time working at it."

Handly spent almost 40 years working for Exxon-Mobil.

"Then I retired, and I was home for about a week, and Kay said, don't you need something to do," he said.

"I did not," Kay Handly said.

"I went to work for another seven years," said Charles Handly.


In 2015, Handly's neurologist diagnosed his short term memory loss as dementia, which will lead to Alzheimer's.

"Just talking about it, acknowledging it, is so much more helpful than denying it," said Kay Handly.

"And you get to meet so many new people," Charles Handly said.

"Even when you wake up," his wife quipped.

The couple lives at The Buckingham, and that's where Charles does neuro-boxing.

"It's really good for preventing and also delaying the onset of any kind of dementia," Hoofnagle said.

"It's a good experience. You're using a lot of your muscles, you're using some of your brain," Handly said. "It can't be all bad."

"It was nine years ago, he was diagnosed, and I just say he's holding his own," said Kay Handly. "I still got my guy. He's all there, and we have a good time."