When well-known Australian Hazel Hawke passed away, the media reported that Hazel had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. During the course of her condition, Hazel Hawke helped to raise public awareness of dementia and advance the work of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia poses an increasing challenge for health practitioners and caregivers. Statistically, one in ten Australians aged 65 and over, and one in three aged 85 and over, now suffer from dementia. Although there are many forms and causes of dementia, common symptoms include progressive memory loss, confusion and impairment of daily function. People with dementia are also at increased risk of falling and losing their independence.
The human brain is complex and fascinating. Brain health is vital for independent living. Here are some tips for making the most of our brain health as we get older:
- Monitor cholesterol and blood pressure (which are associated with cerebrovascular disease)
- Avoid physical injury to the head
- Provide the brain with essential nutrients including vitamin B9 / folate, vitamin B12, foods high in omega – 3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants, and avoid excessively processed food
- Monitor blood sugar levels
- Give up smoking
- Drink no more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks per day
- Find positive ways to manage stress
- Stay well hydrated
- Exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes, three times a week)
- Provide the brain with a physically, mentally and socially stimulating environment – take up new skills throughout life
Find out about local Seniors’ groups and activities in your community. Contact your local Council, Seniors’ Centre or University of the 3rd Age for further information.As you meet new people, learn new things and participate in activities, you will help your brain to stay healthy and enhance your independence. Attending the Stay Standing program is a fun way to keep physically, mentally and socially stimulated. Contact us to register your interest in attending a Stay Standing Program near you.