National Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, an opportunity to educate about Alzheimer’s disease, raise awareness to support Alzheimer’s care and research, and honor individuals living with the disease or acting as a caregiver. Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease that kills nerve cells and tissue in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think, and plan. Ultimately, those with the disease lose their ability to communicate, recognize family and friends, and care for themselves.
Facts about Alzheimer’s Disease
- 47 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias worldwide
- Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
- Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented or cured
- One in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease
- Two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
10 Ways to Love Your Brain (credit: www.alz.org)
- Hit the Books – Formal education will help reduce risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Butt Out – Smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.
- Follow Your Heart – Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke – obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes – negatively impact your cognitive health.
- Heads Up! – Brain injury can raise risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt and use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike.
- Fuel Up Right – Eat a balanced diet that is higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
- Catch Some ZZZ’s – Not getting enough sleep may result in problems with memory and thinking.
- Take Care of Your Mental Health – Some studies link depression with cognitive decline, so seek treatment if you have depression, anxiety, or stress.
- Buddy Up – Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Find ways to be part of your local community or share activities with friends and family.
- Stump Yourself – Challenge your mind. Build a piece of furniture. Play games of strategy, like bridge.
- Break A Sweat – Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates heart rate and increases blood flow. Studies have found that physical activity reduces risk of cognitive decline.
Check out the Alzheimer’s Association website (www.alz.org) for more information and ways to get involved this month!
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