RANCHO SANTA FE — The numbers are overwhelming. In San Diego County, more than 60,000 residents are afflicted with dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is named as the leading illness within the framework of dementia.
Last year, the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild started a monthly series focusing on various topics about Alzheimer’s including education, awareness, medical advances, and caregiver help. All lectures are free to the public.
The series was so well received in 2014, the Guild decided to continue this monthly program with the San Diego and Imperial Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer’s Association both hosted and catered the educational reception.
Leading the talk, “How to Maximize your Brain Health,” was conducted by Holly Pobst, the education and outreach manager at the Alzheimer’s Association.
She explained that when most people think about keeping healthy, they naturally focus on areas below the neck.
“But the health of the brain is just as important to overall physical well-being as your heart, weight, liver, or muscles,” she said.
More than 20 guests flowed through the library doors taking a seat to learn more about this important topic.
Those who attended the series were afforded guidelines in how to sharpen their mind and memory. The crowd learned various ways in how to exercise their brain as they age.
“Just like other parts of the body, your brain may lose some agility if you don’t take care of it. The good news is that emerging evidence suggests there are steps you can take to help keep your brain healthier and possibly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia,” she said. “These steps include maintaining physical health and mental health, eating healthy and remaining socially active.”
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is essential for brain health. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages a brain healthy shopping checklist which includes dark leafy vegetables and foods which are high in Omega fatty acids such as salmon. Folic acid and vitamins E, C, and B are also on the list.
As far as keeping the mind in shape, writing, puzzles, reading, and taking a class provide a great jumpstart.
Studies have shown how regular exercise can reduce dementia considerably. And exercise doesn’t mean going to the gym five days a week. A stroll, yoga, gardening, swimming and other low impact activities fall into this category. Doing something that one enjoys is a great way to partake in exercise.
Being socially active and having a purpose is wonderful for anyone at any age. Ways to interact may include social clubs, church, and family. In fact, just picking up the phone and calling friends or family regularly helps trigger this social interaction.
“This class is one of many classes offered by the Alzheimer’s Association designed for San Diegans who are concerned about memory loss and the health of their brain,” Pobst said.
She went on to say that the next scheduled lecture is on Feb. 24 and it’s entitled, Conversations About Dementia.
“This class offers tips on how to have honest and caring conversations with family members about going to the doctor, driving and making legal and financial plans for the future,” she said.
To learn more visit alz.org/sandiego