Category Archives: senior health

BrainMasters at Huntcliff Health Fair 2012


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As you may know, today is National Senior Day and we celebrated by participating in the annual health fair at Huntcliff Summit. The turnout was great and all the residents and exhibitors had a fabulous day! Looking forward to our June classes at Huntcliff. Keep exercising your brain if you want to keep it healthy-use it or lose it!

8 Best Foods to Buy at a Farmers’ Market: Organic Gardening


Summer unofficially kicks off this weekend as we enjoy this  Memorial Day weekend with our family and friends. Many of us are likely to attend at least one barbeque or social outing. Keeping this in mind, here are a list of foods you should consider purchasing locally and/or organic. After all-it is your health!

Have a safe  Memorial Day weekend and remember to update your family health history and exercise your brain! Why not make it family game weekend and play some Scrabble, card games, hangman, anagrams, crossword puzzles? All these activities are a great and fun way to exercise your brain and utilize the principles of brain plasticity or neuroplasticity. Hey- Your brain-use it or lose it!

8 Best Foods to Buy at a Farmers’ Market: Organic Gardening

 

National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease


PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease

PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here it is-our national plan to address Alzheimer’s Disease. The goal is to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025. Follow this link to have access to the full report.

 

http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/napa/NatlPlan.pdf

 

New Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment Approach


This link will enable you to either listen to or read the transcript from the National Library of Medicine outlining a new possible treatment approach for Alzheimer’s Disease.  Study results were recently published in Science. Very interesting!

 

MedlinePlus: Trusted Health Information for You.

You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t | Documentary about Alzheimer’s | Independent Lens | PBS


Combination of two brain diagrams in one for c...

Combination of two brain diagrams in one for comparison. In the left normal brain, in the right brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease English: Diagram of the brain of a person with Alzheimer's Disease English: Diagram of a normal brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Interesting documentary into a woman’s personal struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Definitely worth watching and sharing!

You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t | Documentary about Alzheimer’s | Independent Lens | PBS.

Spring Anagrams


Scan of the poem "Anagram" from the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever challenged your brain with anagrams? Anagrams are another great brain exercise to help build your cognitive reserve. Yes, anagrams are anti aging for the brain promoting brain health and fitness.  Anagrams are fun for people of all ages- kids, teens, young adults, middle aged, baby boomers, and seniors of course! Anagrams target the cognitive areas of problem solving, reasoning, executive function, memory, and vocabulary. Before you attempt these dementia fighting, anti Alzheimer’s Disease mentally stimulating brain exercises, let’s be sure everyone knows what anagrams are. You will be provided with a single word and your challenge is to rearrange all the letters and form new words. You may form more than one word with the letters as long as all the letters are utilized. Here is an example. If BRAIN is the starter word, the letters may be rearranged to form the words: RAN BI. I think you get the point. Enjoy, laugh, take a deep breath, sit back relax and get ready to challenge yourself. Let’s promote mental fitness, mental stimulation, healthy aging, health and wellness, longevity, and brain health. So, here’s to your brain.

Try anagrams for the following list of spring inspired words. Create as many new word combinations as you can. Happy Spring!

FLOWERS

BLOOMING

ADVENTURE

TROPICAL

CHERRIES

ALLERGIES

Brain Injury Awareness


Did you know that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month? BrainMasters is committed to increasing brain awareness and has provided a link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website that contains information we all should be familiar with when it comes to brain injury prevention and awareness. You will even find a quiz to test your knowledge of brain injury as well as many facts, figures and statistics.

Did you know that every year 1.7  million people will sustain a traumatic brain injury? Of those-

  • 52,000 die,
  • 275,000 are hospitalized, and
  • 1.365 million, nearly 80%, are treated and released from an emergency department

Do you know the leading causes for brain injuries?

  • Falls (35.2%);
  • Motor vehicle – traffic (17.3%);
  • Struck by/against events (16.5%); and
  • Assaults (10%)

Do you know the 7  ways to avoid a head injury according to the CDC?

1. Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

2. Buckling your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child’s height, weight, and age).

  • Children should start using a booster seat when they outgrow their child safety seats (usually when they weigh about 40 pounds). They should continue to ride in a booster seat until the lap/shoulder belts in the car fit properly, typically when they are 4’9” tall

3.  Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

4. Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets.

5. Making living areas safer for seniors, by:

  • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter in walkways;
  • Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors; Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower;Installing handrails on both sides of stairways;Improving lighting throughout the home; and
  • Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance.

6. Making living areas safer for children, by:

Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows; and

Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.

7. Making sure the surface on your child’s playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand.

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/BrainInjury/

Brain Boosters-Anagrams for February


Scan of the poem

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever challenged your brain with anagrams? Anagrams are another great brain exercise to help build your cognitive reserve. Yes, anagrams are anti aging for the brain promoting brain health and fitness.  Anagrams are fun for people of all ages- kids, teens, young adults, sandwich generation, baby boomers, and seniors of course! Anagrams target the cognitive areas of problem solving, reasoning, executive function, memory, and vocabulary. Before you attempt these dementia fighting, anti Alzheimer’s Disease mentally stimulating brain exercises, let’s be sure everyone knows what anagrams are.  Beginning with a single word, your challenge is to rearrange all the letters and form new words. You may form more than one word with the letters provided all the letters are used. Here is an example. If  BRAIN is the starter word, rearrange the letters to form the words: RAN BI. I think you get the point. Enjoy, laugh, take a deep breath, grab a healthy snack and drink,  sit back relax and get ready to challenge yourself. Let’s promote mental fitness, mental stimulation, healthy aging, health and wellness, longevity, and brain health. So, here’s to your brain.

Try anagrams for the following list of words. Create as many new word combinations as you can!

VALENTINE

CHOCOLATES

FLOWERS

ROMANTIC

KINDNESS

HAPPINESS

PRESENTS

CELEBRATION

SURPRISES

SWEETHEARTS

New Year’s Resolutions or Perhaps Goals?


Neuroplasticity challenges the idea that brain...

Image via Wikipedia

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Wow, 2011 continues to fly by even up to the very end.  I hope it has been as great a year for you as it has been for me! As I evaluate my accomplishments and challanges of this year, I am planning for next year. That leads me to the question, “Should we make a New Year’s  resolution or develop goals for the new year?”  When I searched  the definitions of these words as a comparison, the results were interesting. The definition of resolution is- a formal expression of  opinion or intention made, usually after voting,  by a formal organization, a legislature, or other group. The definition of goal is- the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. Opinion verses result or achievement with effort? I vote that we all develop  New Year’s goals! We tend to write our goals down which then holds us accountable. Goals are measurable and objective. Keep in mind that goals can and need to be updated and amended regularly to help us attain our goals and achieve success.  So why not begin now by starting a goal sheet for 2012? You have nothing to lose-only goals to achieve!

If you need some suggestions for some 2012 goals, let me help. Try to make 2012 the  year you take charge of your health and life. There are so many things we can do to promote healthy living, longevity, anti-aging, healthy aging, and the list continues.  Begin by setting a goal of 30 minutes of exercise each day-even just walking is beneficial to your health. It’s all about getting up and moving-get off the couch! If 30 minutes a day seems overwhelming, begin with 3 times a week and increase it to 5 days per week, until you hit 6- 7 days per week.  By committing to physical exercise, your brain reaps benefits too! You will gain increased blood flow throughout your body and brain which helps maintain brain health and cognition.

Speaking of  brain health, we all need to include a goal addressing our brain fitness and maintenance. Make a goal to stimulate  and improve your brain power  by learning something new and challenging your brain. Build and make new brain connections through neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. Researchers continue to uncover more amazing  discoveries about the brain and its ability to form new neural or learning pathways.  Remember, memory loss with decreased brain function does not have to be a part of the normal aging process!  We are never too young to begin building our cognitive reserve or too old for new learning! It’s all about introducing  and learning new things.  If you have never tried anagrams, scrambled words, crossword puzzles,  or other word games than these are great brain exercises to try as you commit to  exercise your brain.

Of course, how can I not discuss the benefits of a healthy diet?  There are numerous health benefits by just avoiding processed foods. Processed foods contain preservatives and hidden salt, neither provide health benefits but rather can increase blood pressure and increase your risk for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s  and other diseases. Instead, take advantage of  spices that have health benefits. Try using garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, turmeric, paprika, black  pepper, cinnamon, thyme, ginger, red peppers,  cloves, coriander, and white pepper. Did you know that some of the most delicious foods have health benefits? Add these to your diet-dark chocolate, walnuts, almonds, blueberries, strawberries, greek yogurt, Alaskan or Pacific salmon, cashews, oats, apples, bananas, cranberries, broccoli, avocados, olive oil-preferably first cold pressed, artichokes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, leafy green vegetables. I’m sure most of us should increase our consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts. By consuming fresh fruits, vegetables,  fish, lean meats, healthy fats,  and dairy we also increase our intake of vitamins and minerals essential for health.

Why not schedule a well check up with your physician? Discuss your diet-honestly, and review your vitamins and supplements as well. Have some blood tests run-how is your vitamin D, what about your B vitamins? Lots to do as you become your own health advocate and take control of your health and life!

Let’s discuss beverages. Do you drink enough water? Water is essential to keep our bodies and brains functioning properly. After you’ve consumed your water, try some green, white, or black tea and/or coffee. All  of these have documented health benefits, and decaf is fine if you need to limit your caffeine intake.  An excellent goal for 2012 could be to decrease and then eliminate your consumption of soda! There are no nutritional benefits and research is now indicating that diet soda may be more harmful than regular. That brings us back to water, tea, coffee, juice that’s 100% juice without any added sugar, and milk.

I believe I’ve outlined several good goals to get you started for 2012. Now it’s up to you to adapt these goals to make them yours. Make 2012- Your Year of  Health and Wellness! I wish you a year of good health, longevity, wealth, and happiness!

Curcumin and Indian gooseberry to feature in new Alzheimer’s trials


English: Curcumin Polski: Kurkumina

Curcumin

 

Scientists researching the prevention  Alzheimer’s Disease to release study results late 2012. This double-blind randomized study involves 150 human participants. Stay tuned!

Curcumin and Indian gooseberry to feature in new Alzheimer’s trials.

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