Current research indicates that lifestyle choices have significant impact on long term brain health. Though we cannot control all risk factors, like age and heredity, we can make a positive impact with our lifestyle choices. Eating healthy, getting regular exercise, keeping your brain engaged and staying socially connected may help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Implementing these tips can help make a difference in your brain health.
Incorporating a healthy diet into our lives is beneficial at any age.
Staying physically active is healthy for your heart and your brain. The brain needs oxygen and a healthy blood supply to work at its best. Thirty minutes of exercise five or more times a week is recommended. The exercise does not need to be strenuous. Find something that you enjoy and can fit into your own lifestyle. For example:
Challenging your brain is a great way to stay sharp. Find things that interest you and are fun. Some ideas: Do puzzles such as crosswords or number games
People who regularly engage in social activities may be less vulnerable to depression, and some research has shown that social interaction may also help keep the brain vital and healthy. Find ways to maintain friendships and stay connected to others by:
Staying active in your faith community Volunteering for a local charity, school, or other cause Joining a social club or a traveling group Taking a class
This article can be found in the January 2021 Richland Center Office Newsletter
This ArMost New Year’s resolutions are discarded pretty quickly. Studies have shown that less than 25% of people remain committed after 30 days. Yet there is value in setting goals to make things work more smoothly and to be sure you are living in a way that is true to yourself rather than always fulfilling the needs and expectations of others. Before setting New Year’s goals this year, I encourage caregivers (myself included) to begin by taking some time to think about this quote from author K. L. Toth, “One of the greatest tragedies in life is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.” Caregiving is a role often defined by the expectations of other people – the person you’re caring for; other family members and friends; and medical, legal, and human services professionals. Take a little time to focus on your needs and what you might like to bring into your life as you look ahead to a new year. Think about how you can practice self-kindness, open yourself to new solutions as the caregiving landscape changes for you, and reach out for help when you need it.
Committing to something enjoyable: This could be anything from scheduling a daily walk or setting aside time to read a good book to taking on a fun project like learning to knit, recreating a dish from your favorite cooking show, playing an instrument, or learning to paint. You could even take this a step further by finding an online book club or class for cooking, painting, yoga or other activity. Commit to one thing and schedule it. Carving out time that feels good and reflects your authentic self is critical to your health and well-being. Delegating and asking for help: Delegating and asking for help ensures that you can keep your commitment to doing something for yourself. Can someone call and visit with your care partner while you attend your class, group, or practice? Is there a family member, friend, or neighbor who wouldn’t mind regularly taking over a chore that would free up some time for you? If there isn’t anyone who comes to mind, brainstorm with professionals at local resources to see what’s available. Planning for your Care Partner’s future: There may come a day when you are no longer able to provide care due to your own limitations or because your care partner’s needs are too advanced to handle. Research available options knowing that doing so can save time and stress in the future and can bring peace of mind now. And, difficult as it may be, determine who would provide care if anything interfered with your ability to do so. Designate that person as the alternate to care for your loved one in your will. —Jane De Broux, Caregiver Program Coordinator Area Agency on Aging of Dane County
This article can be found it the Mauston office January 2021 Newsletter.
As we continue to keep our homes and families safe during COVID-19, it’s important to consider the needs of the seniors in our lives and in our communities.
State and local health agencies are taking steps to ensure that seniors are physically protected from the virus, including directives for those 65 and older to stay home. Many families are searching for guidance and solutions to ensure their loved ones – from parents and grandparents to neighbors and family friends – are best taken care of.
This uncertain duration of isolation can take a toll on a senior’s mental and physical health. There are things we can all do to foster connection, hope, purpose, and support for seniors during this difficult time.
Families, caregivers and health professionals should work with seniors to develop a wellbeing plan for social and mental health. that allows them to take part in activities they love, follow recommendations of health agencies, and maintain a positive outlook.
This can include:
Unwanted calls – including illegal and spoofed robocalls - are the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) top consumer complaint. Not only can the sheer volume of unwanted calls be aggravating, they can also put your financial and personal information at risk.
What You Can Do
For more information, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/stop-unwantedrobocalls-and-texts
This post is from the December Prairie du Chien Office newsletter - " Eagle News and Views." Click here to read the full newsletter.
November is National Family Caregiver MonthWhile virtual holiday gatherings will be the norm this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials want families, and family caregivers, to know that many resources are available to help if you notice changes in a family member’s health, self-care routine, memory or overall behavior this holiday season, even if you don’t live close to your loved one.
“We know that 2020 has presented new challenges for family caregivers, who already are under enormous stress,” said Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We want caregivers to know that there are many resources available to help them take care of themselves as they take care of their loved one.”
Health officials suggest that a good first step is to call your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRCContact). Staff know the resources available in the community, and can connect families to services that can keep older adults living at home safely. Most ADRCs also have dementia care specialists on staff who can answer questions in confidence if a person suspects that a relative or friend may be experiencing cognitive decline.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program and Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Program can help with caregiver support services that are available at no cost or low cost to most people caring for a Wisconsin resident age 60 or over. Services include:
Whether you’re a caregiver for older adults or individuals with intellectual or physical disabilities, or a grandparent or other relative caring for children, it’s critical to stay connected with other caregivers. With many events cancelled or postponed this year, the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance offers a list of Virtual Events For Caregivers(link is external) taking place around the state, including virtual caregiver cafes that provide emotional support, online classes and conferences, live events, and a chance to talk with other caregivers. Most of the events are free or have a minimal registration fee, which is often covered by a program through the ADRC.
Additional information on programs and resources for family caregivers(link is external) is also available.