Four Ways to Be Proactive About Brain Health During Older Americans Month
NEW YORK (April 26, 2023)—As part of Older Americans Month this May, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is offering four ways to help older adults be proactive about their brain health.
“Just as with other facets of our health, lifestyle choices have an impact on our brains,” said Jennifer Reeder, LCSW, AFA’s Director of Educational and Social Services. “As we celebrate aging and the valuable contributions older adults make to our communities during Older Americans Month, it’s also a great time to remind older adults about proactive steps they can, and should, take to protect their brain health.”
AFA offers the following four steps to help older adults be proactive about their brain health:
- Get a memory screening – Memory impairments are not a normal part of aging; they can be caused by a number of different conditions, why is why early detection of memory impairments is essential. Memory screenings are quick, noninvasive screenings that should be part of everyone’s health and wellness routine, even if you’re not currently experiencing memory issues. AFA offers free virtual memory screenings every weekday, with no minimum age or insurance prerequisites—visit www.alzfdn.org or call AFA at 866-232-8484 to learn more about getting a free virtual memory screening.
- Try something new – Learning new new things helps exercise and strengthen your brain. Whether it’s taking a class, trying a new activity, or something else that you’ve never experienced before, forcing your brain to think outside of its normal routine provides valuable cognitive stimulation.
- Socialize and connect – Social interaction and maintaining an active social life are very important for brain health, cognitive stimulation, and mood. Prolonged social isolation and loneliness are detrimental to your health and can actually increase risk for a number of different health conditions, including dementia-related illnesses, heart disease, and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Spending time with loved ones and friends, participating in group activities, and getting involved in local community groups are all ways to connect with other people, keep your brain active, and help you feel more engaged with the world around you.
- Be physically active – Physical activity and exercise increases blood flow to the brain and can also help improve mood and overall wellbeing. It can also reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and decrease cardiovascular risk factors, all of which benefit brain health. Whether it’s brisk walking, jogging, aerobics, weight training, swimming, or playing sports, make it a point to be active!
Individuals who would like to learn more about healthy aging, brain health, or memory screenings can contact the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s Helpline by phone (866-232-8484), web chat (www.alzfdn.org), or text message (646-586-5283) seven days a week, or visit www.alzfdn.org
About Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide support, services and education to individuals, families and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias nationwide and to fund research for better treatment and a cure. Its services include a National Toll-Free Helpline (866-232-8484) staffed by licensed social workers, the National Memory Screening Program, educational conferences and materials, and “AFA Partners in Care” dementia care training for healthcare professionals. For more information about AFA, call 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. AFA holds Charity Navigator’s top 4-star rating for its commitment to fiscal efficiency, transparency, and accountability.