Brain Health As You Age Presentation - Home Page | ACL ...

Brain Health As You Age Presentation - Home Page | ACL ...

Brain Health AS You Age: You Can Make a Difference! A presentation by: 1 Aging and Health Aging well depends on your: Genes Environment Lifestyle Healthy lifestyle choices may help you maintain a healthy body and brain 2

Age-Related Changes in Memory and Learning You may find: Increased difficulty finding words More problems in multi-tasking Mild decreases in ability to pay attention You can still: Learn new things Create new memories Improve vocabulary and language skills 3

Possible Risks or Threats to Brain Health Some medicines, or improper use of them Smoking Excessive use of alcohol

Heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems Poor diet Insufficient sleep Lack of physical activity Little social activity and being alone most of the time 4 Medicines and Brain Health Some medicines and combinations of them can affect your thinking and the way your brain works. Talk with your health care provider about the drugs you take and possible side effects on memory,

sleep and brain function. 5 Smoking and Brain Health Benefits of quitting smoking at any age: Lower risk of heart attacks, stroke, and lung disease Better blood circulation Not exposing others to second-hand smoke There are free resources available to help you quit smoking. 6

Alcohols Effect on Brain Health Slow or impaired communication among brain cells, even with moderate use Poor driving, slurred speech, fuzzy memory, drowsiness, dizziness Long-term changes to balance, memory and emotions, coordination, and body temperature Staying away from alcohol can reverse some changes. Some medicines can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol. 7 Common Conditions that Affect Brain Health

Heart disease, high blood pressure Diabetes Alzheimers disease Stroke Traumatic brain injury Depression Sleep problems

8 Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure Heart disease and high blood pressure can lead to stroke and blood vessel changes related to dementia. How to reduce risk: Control cholesterol and high blood pressure Exercise Eat healthy foods Quit smoking Limit use of alcohol 9

Diabetes Damages blood vessels throughout your body, including your brain Increases risk for stroke and heart attack May increase risk for memory problems and Alzheimers disease Maintaining a healthy weight through physical activity and healthy eating can prevent or control diabetes Talk with your health care provider about the combination of lifestyle and medicine that works for you. 10 Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimers is a buildup of harmful proteins in the brain, the death of brain cells, and loss of connections among them. Known risks: Age Genes, in some people Head injury Suspected risks:

Heart disease High blood pressure at mid-life Lack of physical activity Depression Diabetes 11 Alzheimers Disease (continued) Some therapies can treat Alzheimers symptoms. They do not slow down the diseases changes in the brain. Some approaches show promise in reducing risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimers, but need more testing:

Exercise Healthy diet Controlling high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes Cognitive brain training 12 Brain Injury Older adults are at higher risk of falling and other accidents that can cause brain injury

How to reduce risk: Exercise to improve balance and coordination Take a fall prevention class Make your home safer Review medicines and vision with your health care provider Wear safety belts and helmets Get enough sleep 13 Depression Feelings of sadness or loss of interest in favored activities that last for weeks at a time Not a normal part of aging

Some medicines can cause depression Confusion or attention problems caused by depression can sometimes look like dementia Treatment can involve therapy and medicine 14 Sleep Apnea Short pauses in breathing while sleeping Can lead to injury, high blood pressure, stroke, or memory loss, all of which can affect brain health Treatment begins with lifestyle changes, such

as avoiding alcohol, losing weight, and quitting smoking Use of special devices, ordered by your doctor, may also help 15 So, What Can You Do to Protect Brain Health? Actions that may help: Take care of your health Eat healthy foods Be active Learn new things

Connect with family, friends, and communities 16 Take Care of Your Health Get recommended health screenings Manage health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol Consult with your health care provider to make sure your medicines are right for you Reduce risk for brain injuries due to falls, and other types of accidents Quit smoking 17

Eat Healthily Fruits and vegetables Whole grains Lean meats, fish, poultry Low-fat or non-fat dairy products Less solid fat, sugar and salt

Proper portion sizes Adequate fluids Look into healthy meal programs, like those provided by your Area Agency on Aging. 18 Get Moving Physical activity may: Reduce risks of diabetes, heart disease, depression, and stroke Prevent falls Improve connections among brain cells Get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Move

about 30 minutes on most days. Walking is a good start. Join programs that can help you learn to move safely. Check with your health care provider if you havent been active and want to start a vigorous exercise program. 19 Keep Your Mind Active

Do mentally stimulating activities Read books and magazines Play games Learn new things Take or teach a class Be social through work or volunteering Clinical trials have not proven that these types of activities will prevent Alzheimers disease, but they can be fun. 20 Stay Connected

People who have meaningful activities, like volunteering, say they feel happier and healthier Social activities are linked to reduced risk for some health problems, including dementia Join in social and other programs through your Area Agency on Aging, Senior Center, or other community organizations 21 What Can You Do Today? Pick one thing you can do that may help your brain Think of small, first steps such as:

Taking a 10-minute walk a few times a week Adding one serving of vegetables each day Making an appointment for health screenings or a physical exam Write down what you will do and when Get support from family, friends, or community groups! 22 For More Information Community Programs: Contact a local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Contact a local Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC)

Or, go to National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Aging at NIH:, a service of NIH: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 23

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