Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is January already. We look forward to starting our volunteer program so if you are interested in volunteering, please contact me. We welcome visitors and volunteers every day. Every Sunday from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., we will have family time to visit and play games with residents. On the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 10:45 a.m., we will have Catholic Mass and 3rd Thursday of the month at 2:00 p.m. we will have open church, please feel free to join us. In January, we look forward to Beth Wilson doing a sing along, Guy & Guitar will be here on the 16th at 3:00 p.m., Lyon County Museum will do a program on the 23rd at 3:00 p.m., Leo from the YMCA will be here every Monday and Wednesday at 11:15 a.m., and every Sunday we will watch Mass at 10:00 a.m. and have communion.
If you would like more information on the building, volunteering or a tour of Boulder Creek, please contact Jamie at 507-929-1234 or [email protected].
Exploring Alzheimer’s and Dementia
By Dr. Rob Winningham, Psychology and Gerontology Professor at Western Oregon University
This month we bring you a summary of eight topics and tips related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia presented by Dr. Rob Winningham, Professor and Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Division of Western Oregon University.
1. Maximizing Memory Ability in Older Adulthood
Research has indicated about 50% of our memory ability and chance of developing dementia is determined by genetics. That means the other 50% we can help control by getting adequate physical and cognitive exercise; watching our weight, diet, and glucose levels; staying socially engaged; and sleeping well.
2. Enhancing Brain Health—Sleep and Memory
Approximately 50% of older adults experience sleep problems or insomnia. Lack of sleep can affect memory, mood, and quality of life. Fortunately there are a number of non-pharmacological interventions that can help:
- Exercise daily but not in the evening.
- Get more exposure to sunlight during the day.
- Take a nap and do things to help you unwind and relax at night.
- Don’t eat, drink, or watch TV in bed.
- Make your sleeping environment comfortable.
3. An Excellent Brain Workout on an iPad
Technology can be a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to exercising our brain and staying connected with friends and family. There are many free applications available, such as Fit Brains, Luminosity, Brain Lab, and Word Jigsaw, that not only provide high-quality cognitive stimulation activities but also are fun to do.
4. The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. Dementia is a general term used to describe memory and cognitive impairment severe enough to negatively impact quality of life. Alzheimer’s disease is the primary type of dementia followed by vascular dementia, which is caused by a stroke. Delirium is a reversible condition that looks like dementia but is caused by such things as infection, dehydration, and adverse side effects to medication.
5. Alcohol: Good or Bad for Our Brains and Memory?
The answer to this question is that it depends on a number of things—your genetics, how much you drink, and possibly your gender. There is evidence one or two drinks a day can help protect the brain from the likelihood of developing dementia or having a stroke. Conversely, the risk of dementia increases for those who drink heavily.
6. Keep the Doctor Away by Talking to a Friend
Being social is good for our health. People without established social support networks are more prone to such conditions as depression, strokes, heart attacks, and immune system deficiencies. The mental stimulation of social engagement helps reduce the risk of developing memory problems
7. Why Do We Forget Names?
If you have trouble remembering names, you are not alone. Try asking the person to spell their name and then repeat their name back to them. It also helps to say the name in your mind several times and, if possible, write it down.
8. Don’t Stress About It
Stress is a significant factor in memory loss and can adversely affect our daily activities. People who are chronically depressed are more likely to develop dementia. Some ways to reduce stress include getting physical exercise, identifying and addressing stressors, and smiling and laughing as much as possible.
Happy New Year,
Jamie Lanners, Housing Manager