This would count. But even washing the dishes helps fend off dementia in old age. iStockphoto.com hide caption toggle caption iStockphoto.com Shots - Health News Staying Active Fends Off Alzheimer's, Even In People Over 80 April 19, 2012 Activity fends off Alzheimer's disease in people over 80, according to new research that tracked the movements of people in their 80s. And just doing stuff counts. It doesn't have to be "exercise."